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Move to amend Citizenship Act strongly opposed

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, Oct 22 - Unequivocal protest was registered against the Citizenship Act Amendment Bill by the representatives of cross sections of society, including the indigenous ethnic and students� groups, literary bodies and prominent citizens in a public meeting � called �Raij Mel,� organised by the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) here today.

The participants at the �Raij Mel� expressed grave concern over the possible impact of granting citizenship to the post-1971 Hindu migrants from Bangladesh on the demography, economy and society of Assam, and warned the Sarbananda Sonowal-led State Government not to deviate from its pledge of making Assam free of illegal migrants, irrespective of their religion.

It was resolved in the public meeting to simultaneously continue discussion and united public movement against the Bill to amend the Citizenship Act, with participation of all the stakeholders.

Eminent public activists and representatives of the indigenous organisations were unanimous in opining that the passing of the Bill would not just affect the existence and supremacy of the indigenous peoples in Assam, but would also damage the social and communal harmony in the State.

AASU has been invited to place its views on the Bill before the Joint Parliamentary Committee in New Delhi on October 25. The student body will place that day the concerns of the people of Assam and the resolutions of today�s meeting.

The public meeting also endorsed the stand of AASU and 28 ethnic groups� organisations against the Bill. The meeting also demanded of the Union and the State governments to implement the Assam Accord in letter and spirit and ensure Constitutional safeguard to the indigenous peoples of Assam.

A vigorous protest action in Guwahati is being announced as part of an intensive movement against the Bill.

The six-point resolution of the meeting also demanded the State government honour the people�s electoral mandate, which sought solution to the problem of illegal influx.

�The State government must convey to the Union government the public opinion in the State against the Bill. It must also ensure that under no circumstances, Assam is subjected to shoulder the burden of post-1971 migrants,� the resolution stated.

Formally opening the Raij Mel, litterateur Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora stated that giving citizenship on the basis of religion was totally against the secular essence of the Indian Constitution.

Educationist Dayananda Pathak stated that people trusted the State government�s vision document that laid stress on foreigners� expulsion and the government should be accountable to the people.

Asam Sahitya Sabha representative Abani Mohan Sahariya conveyed Sabha�s concern on the proposed amendment.

Sadou Asom Karmachari Parishad�s Basab Kalita stated that the Parishad would support the united movement of indigenous peoples against the Bill.

All Bodo Students� Union president Promod Bodo advocated a clear and united stand from the people of Assam and also the people�s representatives on the issue.

Former DIG Hiranya Kumar Bhattacharyya said there has always been a ploy to destabilise Assam. He also alleged that a vote-bank politics might have led to the present impasse over the Citizenship Act.

Educationist Basanta Deka said the Bill was a part of RSS� design to create a Hindu nation.

Journalist Adip Phukan expressed concern over the gradual decline in the number of Assamese-speaking people within the State. Advocate Nekibur Zaman, Aditya Khaklari of All Assam Tribal Sangha and Biraj Talukdar of AJYCP also strongly opposed the Bill. Journalist Manjit Mahanta, representative of the All Assam Lawyers� Association, Moran and Karbi Students� Unions, among others, also opposed the Bill.

Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on the Citizenship Act Amendment Bill 2016 has asked Kumar Deepak Das, chief convenor of Asom Andolan Sangrami Mancha, along with Mancha adviser Anjan Sarma to appear before it and express their views on October 25 at 11 am in New Delhi.

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Move to amend Citizenship Act strongly opposed

GUWAHATI, Oct 22 - Unequivocal protest was registered against the Citizenship Act Amendment Bill by the representatives of cross sections of society, including the indigenous ethnic and students� groups, literary bodies and prominent citizens in a public meeting � called �Raij Mel,� organised by the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) here today.

The participants at the �Raij Mel� expressed grave concern over the possible impact of granting citizenship to the post-1971 Hindu migrants from Bangladesh on the demography, economy and society of Assam, and warned the Sarbananda Sonowal-led State Government not to deviate from its pledge of making Assam free of illegal migrants, irrespective of their religion.

It was resolved in the public meeting to simultaneously continue discussion and united public movement against the Bill to amend the Citizenship Act, with participation of all the stakeholders.

Eminent public activists and representatives of the indigenous organisations were unanimous in opining that the passing of the Bill would not just affect the existence and supremacy of the indigenous peoples in Assam, but would also damage the social and communal harmony in the State.

AASU has been invited to place its views on the Bill before the Joint Parliamentary Committee in New Delhi on October 25. The student body will place that day the concerns of the people of Assam and the resolutions of today�s meeting.

The public meeting also endorsed the stand of AASU and 28 ethnic groups� organisations against the Bill. The meeting also demanded of the Union and the State governments to implement the Assam Accord in letter and spirit and ensure Constitutional safeguard to the indigenous peoples of Assam.

A vigorous protest action in Guwahati is being announced as part of an intensive movement against the Bill.

The six-point resolution of the meeting also demanded the State government honour the people�s electoral mandate, which sought solution to the problem of illegal influx.

�The State government must convey to the Union government the public opinion in the State against the Bill. It must also ensure that under no circumstances, Assam is subjected to shoulder the burden of post-1971 migrants,� the resolution stated.

Formally opening the Raij Mel, litterateur Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora stated that giving citizenship on the basis of religion was totally against the secular essence of the Indian Constitution.

Educationist Dayananda Pathak stated that people trusted the State government�s vision document that laid stress on foreigners� expulsion and the government should be accountable to the people.

Asam Sahitya Sabha representative Abani Mohan Sahariya conveyed Sabha�s concern on the proposed amendment.

Sadou Asom Karmachari Parishad�s Basab Kalita stated that the Parishad would support the united movement of indigenous peoples against the Bill.

All Bodo Students� Union president Promod Bodo advocated a clear and united stand from the people of Assam and also the people�s representatives on the issue.

Former DIG Hiranya Kumar Bhattacharyya said there has always been a ploy to destabilise Assam. He also alleged that a vote-bank politics might have led to the present impasse over the Citizenship Act.

Educationist Basanta Deka said the Bill was a part of RSS� design to create a Hindu nation.

Journalist Adip Phukan expressed concern over the gradual decline in the number of Assamese-speaking people within the State. Advocate Nekibur Zaman, Aditya Khaklari of All Assam Tribal Sangha and Biraj Talukdar of AJYCP also strongly opposed the Bill. Journalist Manjit Mahanta, representative of the All Assam Lawyers� Association, Moran and Karbi Students� Unions, among others, also opposed the Bill.

Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on the Citizenship Act Amendment Bill 2016 has asked Kumar Deepak Das, chief convenor of Asom Andolan Sangrami Mancha, along with Mancha adviser Anjan Sarma to appear before it and express their views on October 25 at 11 am in New Delhi.

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