GUWAHATI, Oct 14 - If Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) comes into force, not even the constitutional safeguard can save indigenous communities of Assam, asserted the Forum Against Citizenship Act Amendment Bill today.
Distinguished scholar and anti-CAB forum president Dr Hiren Gohain told mediapersons here that even if the Assamese people get safeguard under Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, it would be of no use, because indigenous communities would be rendered minority by then through the CAB, and would have little say in the changed power dynamics.
�Constitutional safeguard to the indigenous people of Assam is a trap to get the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) passed. Even if the Assamese people get this safeguard, being minorities, they won�t be in a position to assert or claim their rights,� Dr Gohain stated. The Forum today expressed great concern over a number of steps taken by the Union as well as the State governments that would have far reaching impact on the people of Assam.
�The Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) is likely to go into private hands because of the government�s move to privatise BPCL, which is major shareholder of the NRL. If this has to happen, the jobs of 90 per cent of the indigenous regular and contractual workers and 80-85 per cent of the local engineers would be at stake,� journalist and anti-CAB activist Manjit Mahanta said.
The Forum further said that the NRL has been a profitable venture throughout its existence and its condition has improved in past three years with an average annual profit of Rs 800 to 900 crore. �This profit would go up further once the projects like bio-refinery, expansion plan (from three million MT to nine million MT) and the Indo-Bangladesh pipeline are implemented. Moreover, the refinery is a result of indigenous people�s prolonged movement and it cannot be handed over to private players as the Union government�s sweet will. The AASU and other local organisations should take up this issue as a priority,� the Forum said.