‘Karbis should stand firm to defend their land and territory, language and culture’
DIPHU, Feb 3: The NDA government is planning to subjugate the indigenous communities of Northeast through Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Tripura People’s Front (TPF) president Patal Kanya Jamatiya said here on Monday.
Addressing a joint protest rally organised by 15 social organisations and political parties against CAA at Chutianala playground here, Jamatiya said, “There is no country in the world where foreigners are being accepted, given due protection and granted them citizenship and even making them owners of the land. The Central government has only one purpose with the introduction of CAA in the country and i.e. to wipe out the indigenous population in Northeast by allowing foreigners from Bangladesh to settle in Assam, Tripura and in various parts of North East.”
“Today, Assam and Tripura have to bear the brunt of CAA. Manipur, Nagaland, where the Inner Line Permit (ILP) has been introduced are silent. But they did not know that the cancer of CAA will reach them too. The people of Northeast have been opposing and staging protest to repeal the act, but the Centre never pays any heed to them. I am one of the petitioners filing petition with the Supreme Court on the validity of CAA,” he said.
Talking about the situation in Tripura, the TPF president said, “In Tripura the majority Bengalis are targeting the Tipras and the indigenous population. They stage accidents to hit indigenous man or woman. Cases filed in police stations are not being accepted saying it is a case of accident. There is fear among the indigenous to venture out at night. The Bengalis are dominant over the indigenous population. They have captured political power and control the state.”
“It will not be long in Assam too, where the indigenous population will be marginalised. The Bengalis and Muslims are becoming majority to capture political power,” she also said.
“Here in Sixth Schedule of Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong, the Karbis and other indigenous communities are losing their political power, land rights, culture, language and identity. The Karbis should stand firm to defend their land and territory, language and culture,” she further said.
She also said she has spoken in UN headquarters in Geneva about CAA and why the people of Northeastern region are protesting.
Former minister and Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) president Holiram Terang said, “Through CAA the Centre is creating division amongst the people on the line of religion. In Diphu town you see the roads glittering with colourful decorative lights, but in reality people don’t have food to eat, no price for their products (horticulture, spices and vegetables) and youth have no work. They have to move out from the district is search of greener pastures. The natural resources like coal, sand and stones are being extracted and taken away, while our Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council could do nothing to stop such illegal activities. In opposing CAA the people of Karbi Anglong should be united in one voice.”
Questioning the state government, Khilonjia Oikyo Mancha convenor Anup Chetia said, “They said Sixth Schedule areas will be exempted from the purview of CAA. But till now the state government could not chase out more than 20,000 Bengalis inhabited Uttar Borbil area in Karbi Anglong.”
Taking the example of Tripura, Chetia said, “In Tripura the Bengalis have become majority, while the indigenous Tipra people are becoming minority. In Assam we have to fight against the Bengalis on one side and Muslims on the other. Whether it is Bengali or Muslim, if detected foreigners should be deported.”
He also asked the Karbis and other indigenous population to be alert from the invasion of Bengalis and Muslims before they become unstoppable.
Journalist and coordinator of Sanmilita Sangram Parishad, Manjit Mahanta; Nagaland Indigenous People’s Forum general secretary Kahuto Chishi and Liberal Democratic Party chairman Prodyut Bora also spoke in the rally.
Representatives of All Assam Gorkha Students Union, All Party Hills Leaders Conference –J, ASDC, All Tiwa Students Union, Dimasa Students Union, Garo Students Union, Garo Cultural Society, Kuki National Assembly, Karbi Nimso Chingthur Asong, KSA-Jemson Timung, Kuki Students Organisation, Man (Tai Speaking) Youth Association, Rengma Naga Cultural Society, Rengma Naga Students Union and Tiwa Cultural Society also took part in the rally.