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Govt trying to sabotage NRC update process: AASU

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, May 8 - At a time when the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is conducting hearings on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) has alleged that the Centre and State Governments have gone back on their words, while, at the same time, the students� body has accused the Government of trying to sabotage the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) through the Bill.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya pointed out that before the Assembly elections, the BJP assured to implement all the clauses of the Assam Accord, while, in a discussion with the AASU on implementation of the Assam Accord, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had assured that the spirit of the Accord would not be diluted. But with the Bill, the Government tried to violate the Accord, which would never be accepted by the people of Assam. He said that the present BJP led alliance Government in the State came to power with the promise of protecting the interests of the indigenous people of the State. But it failed to keep its word as the Bill, if passed, would pose a threat to the identity of the indigenous people. The AASU has called upon the State Government to impress upon the Centre to withdraw the Bill if it is in favour of the interests of indigenous people.

The AASU chief adviser pointed out that the NRC is being updated as per the provisions of the Assam Accord and the Central Government tried to sabotage the process by bringing the Bill, which is against the spirit of the Accord.

Bhattacharya pointed out that the AASU was the first organization from the State to present a memorandum before the JPC opposing the Bill, while, 28 organizations representing the ethnic groups of the State and the North East Students� Organization (NESO) also submitted memorandum against the Bill. The AASU already appeared before the JPC to give its presentation, while, the other organizations representing ethnic groups of the State also gave presentations. The NESO will give presentation before the JPC in Shillong. He also thanked the organizations and individuals who submitted memorandum to the JPC on May 7 in Guwahati to oppose the Bill.

The AASU chief adviser asserted that dialogues and mass movement would continue till the Government of India withdraws the Bill. �The Central and State Governments should be ready to face vigorous movement throughout the State if the Bill is not withdrawn,� he warned. At the same time, he said that the AASU and the organizations representing ethnic bodies of the State are trying to mobilize political opinion all over the country against the Bill and already met leaders of 10 national and regional parties in New Delhi. Similar efforts would continue in the days to come. He also said that they were also discussing the issue with prominent lawyers to explore the feasibility of a legal battle.

Bhattacharya also asked the members of the JPC to clarify whether they would allow the Centre to impose foreign nationals in their respective constituencies. He also called upon four MPs from Assam, who are members of the JPC, to work in the interests of the indigenous people. �The JPC should not go by the number game and take any decision only on the basis of the number of petitions that they receive. They should go deep into the issue. Let us warn the JPC that if they want to go by the number game, the people of Assam can give them the numbers as they did during the Assam Movement,� he added.

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Govt trying to sabotage NRC update process: AASU

GUWAHATI, May 8 - At a time when the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is conducting hearings on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) has alleged that the Centre and State Governments have gone back on their words, while, at the same time, the students� body has accused the Government of trying to sabotage the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) through the Bill.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya pointed out that before the Assembly elections, the BJP assured to implement all the clauses of the Assam Accord, while, in a discussion with the AASU on implementation of the Assam Accord, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had assured that the spirit of the Accord would not be diluted. But with the Bill, the Government tried to violate the Accord, which would never be accepted by the people of Assam. He said that the present BJP led alliance Government in the State came to power with the promise of protecting the interests of the indigenous people of the State. But it failed to keep its word as the Bill, if passed, would pose a threat to the identity of the indigenous people. The AASU has called upon the State Government to impress upon the Centre to withdraw the Bill if it is in favour of the interests of indigenous people.

The AASU chief adviser pointed out that the NRC is being updated as per the provisions of the Assam Accord and the Central Government tried to sabotage the process by bringing the Bill, which is against the spirit of the Accord.

Bhattacharya pointed out that the AASU was the first organization from the State to present a memorandum before the JPC opposing the Bill, while, 28 organizations representing the ethnic groups of the State and the North East Students� Organization (NESO) also submitted memorandum against the Bill. The AASU already appeared before the JPC to give its presentation, while, the other organizations representing ethnic groups of the State also gave presentations. The NESO will give presentation before the JPC in Shillong. He also thanked the organizations and individuals who submitted memorandum to the JPC on May 7 in Guwahati to oppose the Bill.

The AASU chief adviser asserted that dialogues and mass movement would continue till the Government of India withdraws the Bill. �The Central and State Governments should be ready to face vigorous movement throughout the State if the Bill is not withdrawn,� he warned. At the same time, he said that the AASU and the organizations representing ethnic bodies of the State are trying to mobilize political opinion all over the country against the Bill and already met leaders of 10 national and regional parties in New Delhi. Similar efforts would continue in the days to come. He also said that they were also discussing the issue with prominent lawyers to explore the feasibility of a legal battle.

Bhattacharya also asked the members of the JPC to clarify whether they would allow the Centre to impose foreign nationals in their respective constituencies. He also called upon four MPs from Assam, who are members of the JPC, to work in the interests of the indigenous people. �The JPC should not go by the number game and take any decision only on the basis of the number of petitions that they receive. They should go deep into the issue. Let us warn the JPC that if they want to go by the number game, the people of Assam can give them the numbers as they did during the Assam Movement,� he added.

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