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Call to unitedly protest against CAB

By City Correspondent

GUWAHATI, Nov 23 - The Forum Against Citizenship Act Amendment Bill has urged all organisations and the people of the State to unitedly protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the interest of Assam and other States of the Northeast.

Addressing a news conference today, the forum�s chairman Hiren Gohain said, �We will not accept the Bill under any circumstances. We will remain opposed to the CAB as it is a threat to the people of the State, their culture, language and identity. The move will also affect the spirit of Indian democracy. We cannot let this kind of Bill destroy our society.�

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 and grant Indian citizenship to people from minority communities � Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians � from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to escape religious persecution.

�The BJP has the majority in the Lok Sabha and now in the Rajya Sabha too. So, it is obvious that the Bill will be amended. They are all prepared to bring the Hindu Bangladeshis to the State. The BJP is trying to suppress regional organisations. This is the time for all of us to unitedly protest against this unconstitutional, unethical and immoral Bill,� Gohain said.

The Bill, which had triggered massive protests in Assam and the other northeastern States, was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, but the government did not table it in the Rajya Sabha as it did not have the required numbers in the Upper House to pass it.

The Bill lapsed with the end of the term of the 16th Lok Sabha in May. However, the Bill has been listed again to be introduced in the ongoing winter session.

�The people here clearly stated that they will not accept the Bill under any circumstances. The Bill is undemocratic and violates the provisions of the Constitution,� forum convener Manjit Mahanta said.

The Forum said they would also extend their support to other organisations to oppose the move.

�The Bill violates the spirit of Assam Accord according to which anyone who entered Assam after March 24, 1971, will be treated as foreigner irrespective of caste, creed or religion. We warn the Centre not to amend it or to face the consequences. The BJP-led government is emphasising to amend the Bill because of its Hindutva agenda. So, we urge the people of the State and other organisations to protest unitedly to oppose it,� senior member of the forum Harekrishna Deka said.

Reacting to Union Home Minister Amit Shah�s declaration to have a pan-India National Register of Citizen, Hiren Gohain said that it was a move of the BJP-led Central government to divide people on religious lines. �We have not seen any such demand in other parts of the country for NRC like in Assam. There is also no valid reason to bring a fresh NRC in the State, the final list of which was published on August 31. There are some errors in the list but those can be fixed,� Gohain said.

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