R-Day: Boycott call force many in Mizoram to skip event

R-Day: Boycott call force many in Mizoram to skip event

Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan

A Republic Day boycott call against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 forced many in Mizoram to skip the main celebration, which was addressed by governor Kummanam Rajashekharan.

Members of the influential NGO Coordination Committee, which had issued the boycott call, staged a protest in front of the gate of the stadium at Aizawl, where the Governor unfurled the tricolour and inspected the Republic Day parade on Saturday morning.

Chairs in the gallery for common citizens remained empty as people skipped the celebrations due to the boycott call.

Chief Minister Zoramthanga, ministers, most MLAs and government officials attended the celebrations.

Unidentified militants triggered an IED blast near Imphal, Manipur capital on Saturday. The Republic Day celebrations in rest of the Northeast, however, remained peaceful despite a boycott call by a forum of at least eight militant groups in Manipur, Assam and Tripura. No one was injured in the blast, police said. 

The Mizoram NGOs issued the boycott call to draw the attention of the Centre to their demand for withdrawal of the Citizenship bill. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 but remained pending in the Rajya Sabha. The NGOs staged a protest march in Aizawl on Thursday against the bill. They said passage of the bill would make many Chakma illegal migrants from Bangladesh living in the state Indian citizens.

Zoramthanga, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh recently also said Mizoram was against the bill. He said the ruling Mizo National Front would not hesitate to quit the BJP-floated North East Democratic Alliance, comprising regional parties in the Northeast, if the bill is not withdrawn.