Republic Day boycott in MizoramAIZAWL, Jan 27: An IAS officer posted in Mizoram has written a strongly-worded letter about the State-wide Republic Day boycott sponsored by civil society groups in Mizoram on Saturday. Bhupesh Chaudhury, Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Government of Mizoram, in his letter addressed to Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs; additional secretary (UT), Ministry of Home Affairs; Mizoram Chief Secretary and others, described what happened in Mizoram during the RDay was ‘was unthinkable in a free country.’ A cadre of the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) wrote in the letter what had happened in Mizoram. He elaborated that he along with his “fellow officers, reached the northern gate of Assam Rifles Ground in Aizawl to attend the Republic Day function at 7 am.”

“However, to our shock and surprise, we were stopped at both the entrance gates and were told by the members of Joint NGO Coordination Committee that we cannot attend the function and that we should return to our quarters before any untoward incident happens,” Chaudhury wrote. Notably, the NGO coordination committee had taken a resolution boycotting the RDay function in their opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (CAB). 

The IAS officer further wrote that, ‘When we tried to reason with them, we were told by the NGO office bearers that the Government of Mizoram has reached an agreement with the NGOs where it was decided that only secretaries to the Government of Mizoram and above will be allowed to attend the R-Day function.’ He further wrote: “We told them that NGOs have the right to oppose the CAB but linking it with the R-Day and not letting Government officers to attend the function is rather unlawful. But anticipating a law and order situation, we were forced to return with deep pain and anguish.” 

The IAS officer went on to allege that none of the duty magistrates and police with all their reinforcements were willing to take any action against the members of the NGO who were forcefully preventing the Government officers and other citizens from attending the celebrations. Senior police officers present at the location simply expressed their helplessness at the situation, he further alleged. 

The IAS officer also requested concerned authorities to ‘thoroughly investigate the particular incident and take strictest possible action against all involved for publicly boycotting the R-Day celebrations throughout Mizoram and forcefully preventing the civil servants from attending the function in Aizawl’. - Assam Tribune

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