DIBRUGARH, June 24 � Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Anjan Dutta today said that all those people who had entered Assam from Bangladesh or East Pakistan during the religious persecution and communal riots before the 1971 war, must be given Indian citizenship.
�Whether from Bangladesh or Pakistian, any Bengali Hindu, Christian, Jain or Nepali community members who sneaked into the country for fear of attack by Islamic fundamentalists in these two countries before the Partition must be considered for Indian citizenship. This is our party�s collective stand as also of the State Cabinet,� the APCC president underlined.
The State Congress leader also said that names of women coming to Assam as daughters-in-law from Bihar, Rajasthan and other Indian states must be entered in the updated National Register of Citizens by virtue of their marriage to an Indian citizen in Assam. �If the women are Indian citizens, why should they be deprived of citizenship in Assam,� he questioned.
Dutta reiterated that all those whose names figure in the voter lists prepared before 1971 or are Indian citizens in other states, must have their names in the NRC.
In an effort to rebuild its mass support in the grassroots, the APCC has directed all ministers, MLAs and office-bearers of district, block and mandal committees of the Indian National Congress (INC) and its affiliated organisations to visit every nook and corner of their respective areas.
Dutta today told newsmen here that the leaders must visit and discuss with all the booth level committees and submit reports to the state committee with photographs. �Leaders cannot shirk responsibility in strengthening the party. They have to make efforts to reach the remotest areas within their areas,� he said.
In order to ensure that the party is reorganised down to the booth level, the APCC president has put former minister Tanka Bahudur Rai, in charge of Dibrugarh district. Birinchi Neog, Durga Bhumij and Numal Borah have been appointed as secretaries in charge of the district.