PPA threatens protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill

ITANAGAR, May 31: Expressing solidarity with the mass hunger strike staged by the people of Assam on 28 May against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) said it will launch protest against the bill, and over Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s “incredulous and nonchalant statement” on the bill.
The CM had recently said that Arunachal did not have to worry about the bill as the state is protected by the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) of 1873.
“Since Arunachal is protected under the BERF 1873, which does not allow even Indian citizens to enter the state without an inner line permit, Arunachal does not need to worry about the issue,” Pema had said.
Criticizing the statement, the PPA on Thursday said “the nonchalant statement by the chief minister that we do not need to worry about the bill is incredulous. When the whole Northeast is opposing the bill, his breaking his silence with this ridiculous statement is worse than earlier when he was silent on this issue.”
“Is it because of the BEFR that the number of Chakma refugees in Arunachal has increased from a few hundred to tens of thousands and some non-APSTs in Lekang (Namsai) are demanding that they are not to be asked for ILP?” the PPA questioned rhetorically.
Although the CM “occasionally raises his voice against Chakmas and Hajongs, is it because of the BEFR that he has never spoken against the issue of Tibetan refugees?”it questioned.
Claiming that, besides the PPA, only two or three community-based organizations and the AAPSU and its federal units are opposing the bill, the PPA wondered why the people of Arunachal are silent on the issue “which threatens to reduce the people of the state to a minority in their own land.”
“Does no one care if Chakmas, Hajongs, and Tibetans become Arunachalees after this bill is passed?” the party questioned.