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NGOs didn’t let us take part in Republic Day celebrations: Mizoram IAS officers

Despite efforts by the state government, the NGOs, including the apex students’ body Mizo Zirlai Pawl MZP and the Young Mizo Association (YMA) boycotted Republic Day celebrations in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati | Updated: January 28, 2019 4:20:37 am
(Representational image)

Two IAS officers posted in Mizoram have written to the Centre and the state governments demanding action against certain NGOs of the state for boycotting the Republic Day celebrations and “forcefully preventing” civil servants from attending the function.

Despite efforts by the state government, the NGOs, including the apex students’ body Mizo Zirlai Pawl MZP and the Young Mizo Association (YMA) boycotted Republic Day celebrations in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. After deliberations, they agreed to allow secretaries to the government of Mizoram and above ranks to attend the function.

Krishna Mohan Uppu, a 2009 batch IAS officer serving as the director, transport, and additional chief electoral officer of Mizoram and Bhupesh Chaudhary, a 2014 batch IAS officer, serving as the registrar of cooperative societies in Mizoram, wrote separately to the top officials in the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and the state government. In the letters dated January 26, they said that they were not allowed to participate in the R-Day celebrations at the Assam Rifles Ground in Aizawl on Saturday.

Both Uppu and Chaudhary wrote that they were stopped at the entrance and were told by the representatives the of Joint NGO Coordination Committee that they cannot attend the function and should return.

Uppu wrote, “Sensing that there might be a law and order situation, we had to stay outside the venue. After waiting for an hour, we had to leave the venue with a heavy heart and a feeling of insult and indignation…”

Chaudhary wrote, “We even told them that in a democratic setup, NGOs have the right to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill but linking it with the Republic Day Celebrations and not letting the government officers to attend the Republic Day function was unlawful. After waiting for an hour outside, we were forced to return with deep pain and anguish.”

He added: “None of the duty magistrates and police with all their reinforcements were willing to take any action against the members of Joint NGO Coordination Committee. Senior police officers expressed their helplessness.

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