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AIZAWL, Dec 17: A conglomerate of major civil societies and student associations of Mizoram on Saturday submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi bringing to his notice about foreigners’ influx in the State and their apprehensions over the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The memorandum stated that the Bill is a threat to the entire Northeastern region which is infested with foreigners from the erstwhile East Pakistan and, now, Bangladesh. “The Bill, if passed, would be of immense benefit to Chakmas and Hajongs of Bangladesh, displaced because of the construction of Kaptai Dam. They have been refugees for nearly 65 years and were one of the major problems in Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh,” the memorandum said. “We humbly request the Government of India, and Parliamentarians not to table and pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the interest of its citizens,” it said. 

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The NGOs also urged the Prime Minister to ensure that the repatriation of the Bru community to Mizoram be completed before March 2018. “All those who are willing to come back to Mizoram are welcome with open arms by the people of Mizoram,” the memorandum said. They requested the Prime Minister to ensure that the rest of those who opt to stay back is permanently settled within Tripura and repatriation processes be discontinued from then on. “The government, both at the Centre and the State, has also taken numerous steps for the repatriation process. It is high time that the matter be concluded,” the memorandum said. The NGOs also highlighted the growing traffic congestion in Aizawl, and urged the Prime Minister to take necessary steps to ensure that the Assam Rifles that occupies the prime location in the heart of the city are relocated to Zokhawsang near Aizawl where construction of quarters are already completed. -Assam Tribune

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