Anti-CAA protests: Govt committed to protect identity of NE people, says Rijiju

Pressure groups of Northeast resumed their anti-CAA protests in November last year, months after COVID-19 hit the region, with demands for repealing the act to protect the indigenous people of the region.

SHILLONG:

Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Monday allayed fears of dilution and erosion of culture and social practices in the Northeast with the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

"The Central government is sensitive to the need of the Northeast people. The government is doing everything to protect the indigenous language, culture, tradition, social practice and heritage of the Northeast," Rijiju told media persons after inaugurating the Assam Rifles Public School (Sports) at Laitkor in Shillong on Jan 4.

Pressure groups of Northeast resumed their anti-CAA protests in November last year, months after COVID-19 hit the region, with demands for repealing the act to protect the indigenous people of the region.

He asserted that the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi understands the concerns of the people of the Northeast and "is doing everything for the Northeast that no other government has done."

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Stressing on the need to harmonise the entire nation, Rijiju said that peace should prevail and, local culture should be promoted instead of disharmony.

The government is committed to protect the ethnicity and identity of the people of Northeast, he added.

When asked about the ongoing demand for the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) by pressure groups in Meghalaya, the union minister said, "ILP is a political decision," while hoping that no untoward incident happens which would damage the credibility of the region.

It may be mentioned that pressure groups of Meghalaya have been demanding for the implementation of ILP in the entire state to protect the indigenous people of the state and their culture.

The demand for ILP was reignited in December 2019 following the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

A resolution urging the Centre to implement ILP in Meghalaya was also passed by the State Legislative Assembly in December 2019, the matter of which is still lying with the Home Ministry.

(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)

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