Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) adviser Akhil Gogoi on Monday said the BJP-led Centre’s next target after Jammu and Kashmir would be the Northeast.
He observed the reaction to the Centre’s decision to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution which provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir, including a separate flag and denied property rights to outsiders.
Criticising the Centre’s move as “anti-democratic” and “autocratic”, Akhil said after abrogation of Article 370, which provided constitutional safeguards to Jammu and Kashmir, time is not too far when the BJP-RSS and the government would seek to scrap Articles 371A to 371G which gave special constitutional status and safeguards for the northeastern states.
“People of the Northeast cannot support such arbitrary, undemocratic and anti-federal policies of the Union government. The government of India’s decision to scrap Article 370 will weaken the federal structure of India. It is completely against the idea of the federal structure of India,” Akhil said.
Article 371A provides special provisions for Nagaland according to which “an act of Parliament relating to following matters would not apply to Nagaland unless state Assembly so decides: Religious and social practices of the Nagas, Naga customary laws, and procedure, administration of civil or criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law and ownership and transfer of land and its resources”.
According to Article 371G, “an act of Parliament relating to following matters would not apply to Mizoram unless state Assembly so decides: Religious and social practices of Mizo, Mizo customary law and procedure, administration of civil or criminal justice involving decisions according to Mizo customary law and ownership and transfer of land and its resources”.
To drive home his point, Akhil said: “For states like Assam which demands special status and its people who demand constitutional safeguards will face their litmus test in the coming days. When the Centre is discussing to grant constitutional safeguards to Assam by forming a committee to implement Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord, it has gone to scrap the Jammu and Kashmir’s constitutional safeguards. Today is one of the darkest days in Indian democracy.”
According to him, the ongoing Naga peace talks or discussions to provide constitutional safeguards to Assam is unlikely to yield the desired results.
“The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India — which provides for the administration of the tribal-dominated areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram — is also under threat,” Akhil said.
He highlighted the Centre’s bid to push the “anti-Assam, anti-Northeast” Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which envisages citizenship to non-Muslims who entered India without valid documents till 2014 from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
“We are fighting for a foreigner-free NRC, but and on the other hand the Centre is pushing for the bill to push in foreigners,” he said.
Updated by: News Sources 2019-08-06 5:11 PM