Dimapur, January 21 (MExN): The Nagaland GBs Federation (Village chieftain) (NGBF) has expressed support to the Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants and endorsed their views and arguments on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (CAB).

In a press statement released today, the NGBF assured support and blessing to “any movement for the benefit and welfare of the Nagas.”

In the Federation’s opinion, the CAB posed “impending dangers” with “illegal immigrants” posing “grave concern.” The Nagaland State Cabinet’s appeal to “review and reexamine the Bill is unfortunate and lacks the will and conviction to save the State from being overrun by illegal immigrants,” stated the NGBF through its Media Cell.

“This Bill should be opposed tooth and nail so that the coming generations will not curse us for the things we could have done when we had the opportunity,” maintained the NGBF while noting that protection through Article 371 (A) from the Bill’s repercussions is a “feeble argument and a dangerous one.”

It is time, it stated, for the Government (of Nagaland) to “wake up and find a way to protect itself from this controversial bill before it is too late.”

Article 371 (A): ‘no mention of citizenship’
Observing that there is “no mention of citizenship” in Article 371 (A), the Federation stated that using the Article as “ammunition to oppose the Bill when it becomes an Act will not pass the legal scrutiny in time.”

Nor will the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 (BEFRA), according to the NGBF. “There is a marked difference,” stated the Federation, between the CAB and the Inner Line Permit (ILP). The NGBF argued, “Whereas the ILP or for that matter the Restricted Area Permit is for temporary movement within the State, the CAB 2016 will grant legal citizenship which will have disastrous implications. If Nagaland is the only State where no illegal immigrants could enter as a result of the restrictions imposed by ILP, it could have been a different story from any other states in the country however it is not the case and despite the BEFRA, our State has become a safe haven for illegal immigrants.”

It warned, “Should the Nagaland State Government remain weak and meekly watch the hazardous events unfold, it would not be long before the illegal immigrants with legal Indian Citizenship overrun the State of Nagaland in every field.”

While appreciating and welcoming the Government’s decision to call for a consultative meeting on the issue with all stakeholders, the NGBF maintained that “The wavering stance of the Government on the CAB 2016 is tantamount to being in support of whatever the centre decides at the expense of the welfare of the Nagas.”

It reiterated that the NGBF is “a respectable organization and the guardian of the traditional and customary laws and practices” and, thus, “will not remain a mute spectator to any anti-Naga activities(Bill) being carried out but will rise up to the occasion as we will not tolerate and watch Nagaland being buried due to whatever reasons behind.”

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