Mizoram Guv addresses ‘empty ground’ on 70th Republic Day

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NGOs stage protest outside the parade ground at Aizwal during the 70th Republic Day celebrations

AIZAWL, Jan 27: Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan addressed an almost empty ground on the occasion of 70th Republic Day celebration at Aizawl due to massive protests and boycott call given by various organisations against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.

The Republic Day celebration function was held at Assam Rifles ground, Aizawl and general public had boycotted to attend the function.

According to the reports, only ministers, legislators, officials of the Mizoram government had attended the function.

The boycott call was given by the NGO Co-ordination Committee, an organisation of civil society groups and student bodies including Young Mizo Association (YMA), Mizoram Upa Pawl (MUP), Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP), Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Mizo Students Union (MSU).

Empty parade ground at Aizwal during the 70th Republic Day celebrations

The protesters staged protest in front of the parade ground and shouted slogans against the controversial bill.

Generally, up to 30 contingents traditionally take part in the Republic Day parade, but only six armed contingents took part in the event this year.

The Mizoram Governor said in his speech that the state government is committed to promote and preserve the Mizo identity, tradition, cultures, values and the state government would introduce the Socio-Economic Development Policy aiming in socio-economic development in the state.

Protestors outside the parade ground at Aizwal during the 70th Republic Day celebrations

It is to be mentioned that protests are going on in Assam and other states of the North Eastern region against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which aims to grant Indian citizenship to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Republic Day celebrated peacefully in NE despite boycott call by militants

On the other hand, the 70th Republic Day was celebrated in Assam and other parts of North Eastern region peacefully despite boycott calling by eight banned militant outfits of the region.

Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi hoisted the tricolour national flag at Khanapara parade ground in Guwahati and extended greetings to the people of the state.

Mizoram CM threatens to sever ties with NEDA

Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Thursday threatened to sever ties with the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) if the Centre does not withdraw the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill  that seeks to grant citizenship to migrants from six non-Muslim minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Addressing MNF workers at Aibawk village, Zoramthanga said the party and his government had been making all-out efforts to ensure the defeat of the bill.