Manipur People against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC), a conglomerate of several civil bodies in the state on Thursday organised a protest march against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
The march began with loud ringing of bells and by forming human chains during which slogans against the contentious bill were chanted.
CAB poses a severe threat to the existence of indigenous people of the North East because the Bill if implemented, will allow illegal migrants from neighbouring countries including Bangladesh to get Indian citizenship.
Ymnamcha Dilip, convenor of the MANPAC said that vendors markets, school and college students, local club members, womenfolk and members of civil society organisations gathered and formed human chains and gave a clarion call by ringing bells simultaneously to reiterate the collective stand against the Bill.
The bells were rung for a minute followed by slogans, "No implementation of CAB in the North East", "No enforcement of CAB in Manipur", "Indigenous people of Manipur must be safeguarded", "Long live Manipur", etc.
People were also seen holding placard which read "No CAB in North East" and "Withdraw CAB unconditionally".
Six frontal student bodies have also joined the public protest which covering market places in the hill districts to register a strong protest against the Bill.
The protest was launched against CAB in line with the unanimous resolution passed by the central executive council meeting of North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) held in Kohima on September 25.
Dilip said that the North East people need to stay alert as the second term of Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) meeting held recently in Guwahati reiterated his commitment that the Bill would be passed in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8, aims at granting citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.
In February this year, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC were imposed in East and West Imphal districts ahead of the tabling of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Rajya Sabha. However, the Bill could not be passed.