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Govt urged to fight for rights of indigenous people in SC

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, March 25 - Demanding the State Government make a strong pitch for securing the rights of the indigenous people of Assam in the Supreme Court during a hearing by the constitutional Bench from May 11 relating to validity of the Clause 6A of the Citizenship Act and other issues, the Prabrajan Virodhi Manch today said the stand of the Union and the State governments are contrary to the interests of the indigenous people.

Addressing the media here, senior advocate and the Manch convener Upamanyu Hazarika said that from May 11, the apex court, in a constitution Bench of five judges, is taking up the hearing of the issues which will determine the fate of the indigenous people, the looming threat on their existence in the future.

The Asam Sahitya Sabha, Asom Sanmilito Mahasangha, among others have challenged Clause 6A that provides for the cut-off date of March 25, 1971 for detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi migrants staying in Assam.

This clause is applicable only in Assam, with the rest of the country following the cut-off date of 1951.

�The effect of Assam having a later cut-off date compared to the rest of the country is that it has acted as a magnet for all Bangladeshi migrants to come to Assam,� Hazarika said.

The second issue, equally crucial, is the determination of grant of citizenship by birth to children of illegal migrants born in Assam, which again puts Assam in a very disadvantageous position, because the existing rules have left a scope of multiple generations of illegal migrants getting the Indian citizenship in Assam,� he said, adding that on both the issues, the stand of both the Union and the State governments is detrimental to the interests of the indigenous people.

Despite coming to power on the slogan of jati, mati, bheti, the present government is following the pro-migrant policy of the Congress government, which had supported 1971 as the cut-off year.

�We have also written to the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, AGP president, BPF president and also the Union Minister Rajen Gohain. But we are yet to get any response on this matter,� he added.

�It is always very easy to attribute any decision to a court judgment, but, if the case is weakened due to a weak stand by the government in the court, the present government will also have to take the blame for this,� he added.

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Govt urged to fight for rights of indigenous people in SC

GUWAHATI, March 25 - Demanding the State Government make a strong pitch for securing the rights of the indigenous people of Assam in the Supreme Court during a hearing by the constitutional Bench from May 11 relating to validity of the Clause 6A of the Citizenship Act and other issues, the Prabrajan Virodhi Manch today said the stand of the Union and the State governments are contrary to the interests of the indigenous people.

Addressing the media here, senior advocate and the Manch convener Upamanyu Hazarika said that from May 11, the apex court, in a constitution Bench of five judges, is taking up the hearing of the issues which will determine the fate of the indigenous people, the looming threat on their existence in the future.

The Asam Sahitya Sabha, Asom Sanmilito Mahasangha, among others have challenged Clause 6A that provides for the cut-off date of March 25, 1971 for detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi migrants staying in Assam.

This clause is applicable only in Assam, with the rest of the country following the cut-off date of 1951.

�The effect of Assam having a later cut-off date compared to the rest of the country is that it has acted as a magnet for all Bangladeshi migrants to come to Assam,� Hazarika said.

The second issue, equally crucial, is the determination of grant of citizenship by birth to children of illegal migrants born in Assam, which again puts Assam in a very disadvantageous position, because the existing rules have left a scope of multiple generations of illegal migrants getting the Indian citizenship in Assam,� he said, adding that on both the issues, the stand of both the Union and the State governments is detrimental to the interests of the indigenous people.

Despite coming to power on the slogan of jati, mati, bheti, the present government is following the pro-migrant policy of the Congress government, which had supported 1971 as the cut-off year.

�We have also written to the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, AGP president, BPF president and also the Union Minister Rajen Gohain. But we are yet to get any response on this matter,� he added.

�It is always very easy to attribute any decision to a court judgment, but, if the case is weakened due to a weak stand by the government in the court, the present government will also have to take the blame for this,� he added.