The powerful North East Students' Organisation (NESO) has asked the central government to take immediate steps to update the National Register of Citizens, (NRC) 1951, for entire North East, as it is the only official document of citizenship.
The apex students body of all the indigenous communities in the north-eastern region, which submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday, however, strongly opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, saying that the Bill will facilitate illegal Bangladeshis to obtain Indian citizenship and settle in the north-eastern region.
"We welcome the preparation of NRC for Assam as per the Assam Accord and under the continuous supervision of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. NRC should be prepared for each of the states for the whole of North East. The modalities may be different for different states," NESO Chairman Samuel Jyrwa said on Thursday.
The NESO also strongly opposed the Foreigners (Amendment) Order 2015, Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015, and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament to provide citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis who entered illegally into Assam and other north-eastern states till December 2014.
"Though the two notifications and the Bill are applicable to the whole country, they will affect most the states of the North East region. The government of India has also introduced the provision of long-term visa for the Hindu Bangladeshis," he said.
The NESO had submitted a memorandum to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 opposing the Bill.
Demanding that the Centre should extend British-era Inner Line Permit (ILP) and NRC to the whole of the North East, Jyrwa said: "The government of India adopts a proactive policy in the form of a 'White Paper' rather than a reactive policy to the issue of illegal immigrants in the region."
"The need of the hour is to understand that it is no longer a humanitarian problem but a security problem, which has become a Hydra-headed monster and that time has come to deal with it assertively but without hampering bilateral relations with the neighbouring countries," he said
(With inputs from agencies.)