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NGOs withdraw call to boycott Shah’s Mizoram visit

Published : Oct 5, 2019, 2:02 am IST
Updated : Oct 5, 2019, 2:02 am IST

During his one-day visit to Aizawl, Shah will inaugurate an exhibition of northeast handloom and handicraft products and meet state leaders.

Union home minister Amit Shah (Photo: ANI)
 Union home minister Amit Shah (Photo: ANI)

Guwahati: In a a significant development the coordination committee of NGOs in Mizoram on Friday evening decided to withdraw their boycott the visit of Union home minister Amit Shah’s visit to Aizawl, Mizoram, on Saturday. His visit follows his announcement three days ago that “controversial” Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) would be brought in Parliament again.

During his one-day visit to Aizawl, Mr Shah will inaugurate an exhibition of northeast handloom and handicraft products and meet state leaders. Besides, he will also hold a one-on-one meeting with Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga and then talk to the NGO Coordination Committee leaders on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).

Vanlalrauta, president of Young Mizo Association (YMA), said, “We wanted discussion on the Citizenship Amendment bill to put forward our point of views. Now that home minister has called for discussion on this issue there is no point of agitation for we got a better platform for discussion.”

He however reiterated, “We want Mizoram must be out of the ambit of    Citizenship Amendment bill.”

Earlier, the coordination committee of NGOs, which has called for the boycott, said that its leaders would meet Mr Shah here on Saturday, changing its decision to hold a protest rally on the issue.

“We will submit a memorandum and discuss with him our displeasure over the Centre’s proposal to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955,” a leader of the NGO Coordination Committee said, adding that they had withdrawn the earlier plan to hold a protest rally.

Assam minister and convener of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma in a social media post announced that students leaders and coordination committee of NGOs has not only withdrawn the agitation but also decided to welcome Mr Shah on his maiden visit to the state after assuming the office of Union home minister.

The committee changed its decision after Mr Zoramthanga urged them not to protest during the first visit of Mr Shah, who also happens to be BJP national president.

Mr Zoramthanga is the president of ruling Mizo National Front which is a constituent of the NDA and the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), both headed by the BJP.

BJP’s Mizoram unit president John V. Hluna had also appealed to the civil society organisations of the state not to hold any protest programme during Mr Shah’s visit.

The NGOs of Mizoram were protesting against the CAB, as they fear that the CAB will encourage the influx of Chakma refugees from the adjoining Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.

The total Chakma population of Mizoram is estimated to be more than 100,000. The entire community of Chakma Autonomous District Council belongs to Schedule Tribe
In fact Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga had recently gone on record saying that all political parties that supportthe contentious Bill are on the “verge of suicide”.

He pleaded in a meeting of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), “If at all, it (the Bill) has to be implemented, then please see if the northeast can be excluded from it. I request you to look into the vulnerability of the region.”

Tags: citizenship amendment bill, amit shah