GUWAHATI, June 1 � With less than a year for the State Assembly polls and fighting a rearguard action against aggressive politicking by BJP and AIUDF, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has called upon the Central government to grant citizenship to Bengali Hindus, Buddhists and �all people from other communities� who were forced to cross over to Assam after the partition of the country due to religious persecution.
APCC president Anjan Dutta said here today that a political resolution to this effect was adopted during the executive meeting of the APCC held on May 25.
�The State Cabinet had passed a similar resolution in 2011 to grant citizenship to such people on humanitarian grounds. The APCC has now resolved to urge the Central government to grant citizenship to all such people,� Dutta said.
Asked if the political resolution also includes people who came to the country after March 25, 1971, Dutta said, "Even if somebody is forced to come here today on account of religious persecution, they should be given citizenship on humanitarian grounds.�
However, the APCC resolution is vague on the exact identification of the communities whose members would be eligible for such consideration.
A press release issued by the APCC said, �The political resolution discussed on that (sic) the unresolved citizenship issue of Bengali Hindus, Buddhists and people from other communities who crossed over to Assam part of India (sic) after being subjected to inhuman tortures after the partition of the country is a matter of grave concern. That these people were citizens of undivided India and that they were forced to flee from their owned (sic) lands for saving their lives on being subjected to atrocities on ground of religion, the APCC resolved to urge the Central government to grant citizenship to all such people keeping in consideration the historical reality and humanitarian aspects involved.�
Asked if he concurs with Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi's statement that there are no illegal Bangladeshis in Assam, Dutta said, �We have not said that. It is true that there is apprehension about presence of Bangladeshis in Assam and the Assam Agitation or the current NRC updation work is a result of that. NRC updation is being carried out to identify any such illegal immigrants if they reside here,� he said.
He added, �Let us have committees at local level to identify illegal immigrants. If anybody thinks there are any foreigners in their locality, let them point that out.�