National Peoples Party (NPP) leader Agatha K Sangma has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exempt the entire north-east from the purview of the amended Citizenship Act to ensure that peace returns to the region. The Tura MP wrote to PM Modi on Thursday night.
According to the new law, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
“The North East is a complex region that needs a holistic protection, the government must revisit the CAB and exempt the entire region from its purview. This is the only way peace and confidence can be built among our people,” Ms Agatha said in a letter to PM Modi.
She said the CAB has been opposed by the people of the north-east because they fear demographic changes will affect the security and identity of the tribes of the region.
“Efforts made through long hours of consultations are going futile and the narrative that is being given out is that the BJP-led government is anti-north east,” said Ms Agatha, a former Union Minister.
The BJP is part of the NPP-led coalition government in Meghalaya. She sent the letter even as her brother and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and his cabinet colleagues are scheduled to meet Amit Shah.
The curfew imposed in parts of state capital Shillong following violent protests was relaxed on Friday for 12 hours, beginning at 10 am. Curfew was imposed on Thursday night in areas under Sadar and Lumdiengjri police station limits, which comprise at least 20 neighbourhoods of North Shillong and Mawprem after several vehicles and building were vandalised.