SHILLONG, Feb 13: The failure of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) – led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to table the Citizenship Amendment bill, 2016 (CAB) prompted the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) in Shillong to take out a ‘victory rally’ here on Wednesday.
It may be pertinent to note here that this is the last session of the Rajya Sabha before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the House had to be adjourned sine die after there was huge disruption by opposition members. With this adjournment of the Upper House, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill also lapsed.
Understandably, political parties and pressure groups of the North East region, which have been campaigning against the Citizenship Bill have heaved a huge sigh of relief with this development as the Bill seeks to provide citizenship to immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, something that they are vehemently opposed to.
Soon after the news of the failure to table the contentious Bill broke, activists of the KSU carrying blue flags took to the streets on two wheelers and cars to celebrate their ‘victory’ of ensuring that the Bill is not passed in the Rajya Sabha.
“It is a proud moment for the NGOs of the North East who have proved that they can fight against such draconian laws,” said KSU General Secretary, Donald Thabah while thanking the leaders of NESO for aggressively campaigning in New Delhi against the Bill.
Revealing that they had a surprise dharna in store in case the Bill was passed, Thabah was of the view that the BJP government must have understood that they have no majority in the Rajya Sabha and the added pressure of stiff opposition in the North East put the BJP on the back foot.
He however said that the people of North East should always be ready and united as a similar bill may come up again in the near future.
Asserting that the Union would continue to oppose any Bill which is detrimental to the existence of the indigenous community, Thabah also questioned the idea behind issuing work permits to Bangladeshis saying there is no dearth of labourers here in Meghalaya.
Thabah also thanked all the socio-political leaders of the North East for coming together as one and putting up a brave front in their opposition against the CAB.
5 assaulted during KSU ‘victory rally’
At least 5 people were injured in the ‘victory rally’ by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU).
The incident took place at Rynjah and RR Colony when a group of around 40 people came and started beating up the victims, who were walking on the road, Superintendent of Police (City) SA Rynjah said.
Rynjah said that most of the victims had sustained grievous injuries and were immediately taken to hospital.
He said the group which appeared during the rally of the KSU also pelted stones and vandalized some of the shops in the area.
Rynjah said that the police are still conducting an inquiry into the matter and are yet to make any arrest. “We have identified some of the people involved in the incident and we will take action accordingly,” he said.