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�Citizenship Bill a ploy to destroy indigenous communities�

By SHAMBHU BORO
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TEZPUR, March 11 - Raising a concerted voice against the �Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016,� a league of leaders from different national organisations from across the region, including Asam Sahitya Sabha, AASU, Nagarikatta Ayen Sangshudhoni Birudhi Sangstha, Dewri Students� Union, Modahi Students� Union, Goria-Moria Dekhio Parishad, Karbi Students� Union, Karbi Serhom Thom Amey, Tewa Cultural Society, Santal Students� Union, Tiwa Satra Parishad, All Dimasa Students� Union, Asom Saah Janagusthiya and Sahitya Sabha, besides a host of intellectuals and journalists of the State today opined in a national conclave held at the historic Baan Theatre here that the Bill is nothing but a well-planned mechanism to destroy the identity of the indigenous people of Assam.

Speaking at the Jatio Gana Avibartan organised by All Assam Journalists� Union under the theme �Protest Against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016� and conducted by AAJU president Pankaj Kumar Nath and office-bearers of two different Karbi national organisations Dhaniram Ingleng and Samson Terang, AASU chief adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya stated that for the sake of self-determination, identity, language, culture and literature of Assam and it�s indigenous people, no one can allow both Hindu and Muslim Bangladeshis in the region.

�We will soon become minorities and our culture and language will perish. The Bill is a big threat for the people of the region,� Dr Bhattacharya said and mentioned that Assam is a State which has been fighting consistently for the last 32 years after the Assam Accord for constitutional safeguard and self-determination of it�s denizens.

In his thought-provoking speech, he mentioned some points encapsulated in the Assam Accord. The senior AASU leader further said that during talks with the Prime Minister of India and Bangladesh in February 1972, the Bangladesh Prime Minister assured the return of all Bangladeshi nationals who had taken shelter in India since March 25, 1971. �Accordingly, a circular was issued by the Government of India on March 30, 1972 setting guidelines for action to be taken in respect of persons who have come to India form Bangladesh. According to this circular, those Bangladeshi nationals who came to India before March 25, 1971 were not to be sent back and those who entered India on or after the said date were to be repatriated.�

He added that in Para 12 of the counter-affidavit, it is stated that the basic objection of petitioner is under consideration of the Central Government that the IM(DT) Act and the rules made thereunder are not effective in comparison to the Foreigners Act of 1946, which is applicable to the whole country, except to the State of Assam.

�In Para 18 of the counter-affidavit, it is stated that the administrative powers in respect of the IM(DT) Act have been dedicated to the Government of Assam under Section 21 of the aforesaid Act. The sub-paragraph of 18 and Para 19 of the counter-affidavit are important and are being reproduced as it is further submitted that the detection and expulsion of illegal migrants under that IM(DT) Act has been extremely dismal. According to the information furnished by the Government of Assam, the progress in respect of detection and expulsion of illegal migrants till April 30, 2000 since March 25, 1971 shows the total number of inquiries initiated as 3,10,759 while the total number of inquiries completed is 3,07,955 and the total number of inquiries referred to the screening committee is 3, 01,986,� he mentioned.

Expressing grave concern over the Government�s lackadaisical attitude towards the long-pending issue, he stated that amidst many odds, some positive things are also coming up, like the Barpeta incident which has united the tribal organisations to fight against the Bangladeshis. Echoing similar sentiment, other panelists on dais, including senior journalist Munin Bayon, Pranjal Sen Deka, Paragmoni Aditya and delegates from the above-mentioned organisations also spoke on the issue and strongly condemned both the State and Central governments for their indifferent attitude towards the people of Assam and warned the Government from implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. They also put forward their suggestions to expedite the movement in a vigorous manner to put more pressure on the Government of India so that they withdraw the decision of implementing the Bill.

Earlier in the keynote address, senior journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan mentioned that the BJP which came to power in Assam with the commitment of making Assam free from Bangladeshis, is now very much vocal in settling the Hindu Bangladeshis in the region, which can never be admitted.

Later, the conclave adopted a number of resolutions, including registering strong protest against the Bill in New Delhi.

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�Citizenship Bill a ploy to destroy indigenous communities�

TEZPUR, March 11 - Raising a concerted voice against the �Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016,� a league of leaders from different national organisations from across the region, including Asam Sahitya Sabha, AASU, Nagarikatta Ayen Sangshudhoni Birudhi Sangstha, Dewri Students� Union, Modahi Students� Union, Goria-Moria Dekhio Parishad, Karbi Students� Union, Karbi Serhom Thom Amey, Tewa Cultural Society, Santal Students� Union, Tiwa Satra Parishad, All Dimasa Students� Union, Asom Saah Janagusthiya and Sahitya Sabha, besides a host of intellectuals and journalists of the State today opined in a national conclave held at the historic Baan Theatre here that the Bill is nothing but a well-planned mechanism to destroy the identity of the indigenous people of Assam.

Speaking at the Jatio Gana Avibartan organised by All Assam Journalists� Union under the theme �Protest Against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016� and conducted by AAJU president Pankaj Kumar Nath and office-bearers of two different Karbi national organisations Dhaniram Ingleng and Samson Terang, AASU chief adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya stated that for the sake of self-determination, identity, language, culture and literature of Assam and it�s indigenous people, no one can allow both Hindu and Muslim Bangladeshis in the region.

�We will soon become minorities and our culture and language will perish. The Bill is a big threat for the people of the region,� Dr Bhattacharya said and mentioned that Assam is a State which has been fighting consistently for the last 32 years after the Assam Accord for constitutional safeguard and self-determination of it�s denizens.

In his thought-provoking speech, he mentioned some points encapsulated in the Assam Accord. The senior AASU leader further said that during talks with the Prime Minister of India and Bangladesh in February 1972, the Bangladesh Prime Minister assured the return of all Bangladeshi nationals who had taken shelter in India since March 25, 1971. �Accordingly, a circular was issued by the Government of India on March 30, 1972 setting guidelines for action to be taken in respect of persons who have come to India form Bangladesh. According to this circular, those Bangladeshi nationals who came to India before March 25, 1971 were not to be sent back and those who entered India on or after the said date were to be repatriated.�

He added that in Para 12 of the counter-affidavit, it is stated that the basic objection of petitioner is under consideration of the Central Government that the IM(DT) Act and the rules made thereunder are not effective in comparison to the Foreigners Act of 1946, which is applicable to the whole country, except to the State of Assam.

�In Para 18 of the counter-affidavit, it is stated that the administrative powers in respect of the IM(DT) Act have been dedicated to the Government of Assam under Section 21 of the aforesaid Act. The sub-paragraph of 18 and Para 19 of the counter-affidavit are important and are being reproduced as it is further submitted that the detection and expulsion of illegal migrants under that IM(DT) Act has been extremely dismal. According to the information furnished by the Government of Assam, the progress in respect of detection and expulsion of illegal migrants till April 30, 2000 since March 25, 1971 shows the total number of inquiries initiated as 3,10,759 while the total number of inquiries completed is 3,07,955 and the total number of inquiries referred to the screening committee is 3, 01,986,� he mentioned.

Expressing grave concern over the Government�s lackadaisical attitude towards the long-pending issue, he stated that amidst many odds, some positive things are also coming up, like the Barpeta incident which has united the tribal organisations to fight against the Bangladeshis. Echoing similar sentiment, other panelists on dais, including senior journalist Munin Bayon, Pranjal Sen Deka, Paragmoni Aditya and delegates from the above-mentioned organisations also spoke on the issue and strongly condemned both the State and Central governments for their indifferent attitude towards the people of Assam and warned the Government from implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. They also put forward their suggestions to expedite the movement in a vigorous manner to put more pressure on the Government of India so that they withdraw the decision of implementing the Bill.

Earlier in the keynote address, senior journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan mentioned that the BJP which came to power in Assam with the commitment of making Assam free from Bangladeshis, is now very much vocal in settling the Hindu Bangladeshis in the region, which can never be admitted.

Later, the conclave adopted a number of resolutions, including registering strong protest against the Bill in New Delhi.