Civil society groups in Mizoram on Saturday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is on a visit to the north-east Indian state, and submitted a memorandum, expressing concern over the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and stating that the Bill should not be passed “until there are provisions for safeguard of Mizos”.
The memorandum also highlighted the issue of repatriation of Brus to the state from camps in neighbouring Tripura, Lalhmachhuana, secretary of Mizoram’s NGO coordination committee, said.
Stating that Shah assured them on both issues, Lalhmachhuana said, “The Home Minister said that a provision will be inserted in CAB for protection of the people of states where the ILP [Inner Line Permit] regime is in place — states such as Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. On repatriation of Brus, he told us that an interlocutor will be appointed through whom the issue should be settled amicably.”
On Saturday, Shah also met Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who tweeted, “I am glad I could convey the need of my people to the Hon’ble Amit Shah ji who is very keen on uplifting the socio-economic status of Mizoram.”
Zoramthanga told Shah that people of Mizoram are against the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955, and the Citizenship Bill, 2019, could open a “floodgate of illegal immigrants” in Mizoram, according to an official statement issued in Aizawl.
Shah was in Aizawl to inaugurate the Northeast Handloom and Handicraft Expo.
Speaking at the exhibition, Shah called Mizoram the most beautiful state in India and maintained that the state has now taken a lead in development and peace after overcoming violence of the past. “The Narendra Modi government is committed to development of Mizoram and solving all its problems,” he said.
Shah said Mizoram received only Rs 19,974 crore during the 13th Finance Commission under the Congress-led UPA government, and the amount was increased to Rs 42,972 crore by the Modi government in the next Finance Commission. He stressed on bamboo cultivation and listed the various sectors in which the Centre has enhanced development in the Northeast.
Shah had visited Guwahati last month and said that constitutional safeguards to states and communities in the north-eastern states will not be overridden when the CAB is passed by the government, nor will any illegal migrant be allowed to stay in the country.
In the BJP-led NEDA meet which Shah attended in Guwahati, Zoramthanga had requested Shah to exclude the Northeast from the purview of the Bill.