Shillong, Feb 01: Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress (MPYC) President Richard Marak along with youth congress presidents from all the North Eastern States and their members were arrested and detained by police in the national capital for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016.
They were detained on January 30 when hundreds of Youth Congress members from the region marched towards the residence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at New Delhi in protest and to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016.
The march was led by the PYC Presidents of all the North East States and from different parts of the country. IYC president Keshav Chand Yadav and Vice President Srinivas B V also joined the protest.
In this protest many PYC Presidents were arrested and detained including Richard Mrong Marak, President Meghalaya PYC along with hundreds of youths from the North East.
The youth congress workers labeled the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 as a highly divisive and discriminatory bill that contradicts the government’s actions with NRC in Assam.
They argued that the implications of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (2016) are wide-ranging and need to be looked into not only from the lens of the state of Assam (as is the case right now) but through its wider implications for the Indian polity especially it’s incongruity with the inherently secular nature of the Indian state and Constitution.
MPYC president Richard Marak said, “We the indigenous peoples of North-East India are concerned with preserving our land, protecting our language and promoting our culture. The Indigenous Garo, Khasi, Jaintia people have traditional customary, residence and citizenship laws. Let us continue to protect and preserve our identity. Meghalaya Youth Congress will fight till our last breath against the unconstitutional Citizenship Amendment Bill.”
“This is our land, our river our hills… we will not allow BJP and their flunkies the NPP and others to overrun it with foreigners,” he added.
MPYC prez questions NPP
Richard wondered why NPP, a party that claims to be representing the indigenous people of the nation, not doing anything in protest.
“Why can’t they come to Delhi and protest against this bill which is clearly dangerous and will change the demographic of the NE states?” he asked.
Questioning the ability of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, he said the young CM has only been doing face-saving exercises but doesn’t dare openly oppose the Bill in fear that he may lose his seat.
“Meghalaya needs a majboot sarkar not a majboor sarkar. On top of that, we in Garo Hills do not even have an MP to protest against CAB. Conrad Sangma does not represent the people who voted for him, he represents only himself,” the MPYC chief opined.
In the same way, he said, NEDA should be ‘North-East Dangerous Alliance’ because the regional parties are being used by the BJP.
If the leaders of NEDA are serious about opposing the CAB, he urged them to dissolve NEDA and join hands with Congress to protest the tabling of the contentious Bill in Rajya Sabha.
“Whatever forces the govt may use, we will continue to fight against the BJP’s unconstitutional CAB. The youth want jobs not a Hindu nation. We are not scared to fight for our motherland,” avowed Richard Marak.