18-hour shutdown underway in Nagaland
(Top) Shops in Kohima closed down after 6:00 PM on November 19 in response to a statewide 18 hours shutdown of all shops and business establishments in Nagaland. (Bottom)The city tower area in Dimapur which is normally abuzz with activity till late night, closed down early today in response to the shutdown called by the NEFIP and the JCPI on November 19. (Morung Photos)
• Shutdown to continue till 12:00 noon today
• NSF to ensure that examinations are not affected
DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 19 (MExN): As the shutdown called by the North East Forum for Indigenous Peoples (NEFIP) and the Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) took effect from 6:00pm on Tuesday, several civil society organisations lent their support to the call and voiced their opposition to the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
A joint statement from the JCPI and the NEFIP asked all citizens of the state to “stay indoors during the 18 hours of Bandh to express our total solidarity with the North Eastern people in the region.”
“We further appeal all different institutions and establishments to reorganize its schedules to allow peaceful observance of the proposed bandh,” a press release from NEFIP Vice President, Theja Therieh; JCPI Convener, Ghokheto Chophy; and Secretary, Tia Longchar stated.
It however made clear that the appeal is “purely a conscience call to reject the monstrous CAB, 2016.” “This few hours of sacrifice will go a long way to determine the destiny of our future generations to come,” it added.
The two organisations meanwhile said that in the event of any emergency, commuters or travellers are advised to “display their respective identities prominently.”
The Naga Students Federation (NSF), in a press note from its President, Ninoto Awomi and Education & Statistical Secretary, Kegwayhun Tep meanwhile directed all its federating units and sub-ordinate bodies to tie-up with the 'shut-down' organisers in order to ensure that the burden of the shutdown is not passed on to the students not only while commuting to and from their examination centres but also while availing the stationeries required for their examinations.
It further expressed the federation’s resentment against the proposed CAB and assured that the NSF would “leave no stone unturned in order to ensure that the proposed bill does not see the light of the day.”
A press note from the Naga Mothers Association (NMA) also expressed solidarity with the JCPI and NEFIP, while stating that “our future is at stake.”
“As mothers, we raise our deep concern and fervently appeal to each and every indigenous Naga to rise up and protect our land and its people. The CAB 2016 in its present form being a threat to the security of the State and the entire Northeast region; let us stand together to protect our identity and rights,” it added.
The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) also extended its support to the JCPI and NEFIP, while appealing to the indigenous people of Nagaland, Tribes Hohos, various CSOs, youth and student bodies to stand in solidarity on the issue and extend all possible support to the movement “in order to make the regions free of illegal immigrants.”
A press release from NTC President, Toniho Yepthomi and General Secretary, Nribemo Ngullie termed the CAB as “purely communal in nature as it stands for the interest of the Hindus in particular in the context of Indian pluralism and in the guise of its secularism.”
“Even without the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) the North Eastern States are already flooded by illegal immigrants particularly from Bangladesh and further influx by means of the Bill or regularisation of illegal residents would be direct threats to the region’s land, survival of its indigenous people, identity, and culture. The result would be only adverse impact for generations together,” the NTC cautioned.
It further expressed concern at the “lackadaisical attitude of the Government of India to understand the genuine desire of the region.”
Meanwhile, in Mokokchung, four mass based civil society organizations are overseeing the shutdown in the district. The decision to support the shutdown and reiterate opposition to the CAB was resolved today at a joint meeting attended by Ao Senden, Ao Students’ Conference (AKM), Mokokchung Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and Mokokchung Town Lanur Telongjem (MTLT).
The Lotha Hoho also issued a statement today urging the Wokha District Chamber of Commerce & Industry (WDCCI) to give directions to shop owners to down shutters during the bandh period. School/college going children, paramilitaries, Police and administrations, Doctors on duty and pharmacies has been exempted from the proposed bandh, a press release from Lotha Hoho General Secretary, Abenthung Ngullie stated.