Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren said on Wednesday that his BJP-led coalition government will oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2018 until there was a clause to protect the indigenous communities of Manipur and other northeastern states. Biren had recently taken a team of state leaders to Delhi which submitted a memorandum to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The minister is reported to have assured the representatives that interests of the N-E people will be protected. Biren said his government is urging the Centre to get President's assent to the Manipur Peoples (Protection) Bill, 2018 which was passed by the Assembly a few months back. "The interest of north-east people should be safeguarded because the region has small communities," he added. He said the stand of the Manipur government is clear: it will oppose the Citizenship Bill till full protection for the indigenous people is guaranteed and the Manipur Peoples (Protection) Bill, 2018 is given assent by the President.
Meanwhile, protests against the Citizenship Bill in parts of the state continued on Wednesday amid heavy police deployment. Activists said the Citizenship Bill came at a time when the people of Manipur were demanding the introduction of the Inner Line Permit system to regulate the entry and stay of outsiders in the state.
(With inputs from agencies.)