DIBRUGARH, Sept 21 - In the face of conflicting decisions by the Centre on issues that are very sentimental to the people of Assam, a citizens� meeting was held at the Lakshminath Bezbaroa Bhavan here on Sunday. At the end of five hours of deliberations, it was decided to form a new civic organization, to be called the Sachetan Nagarik Mancha, to take up long standing issues with the authorities on a non-combative basis.
Present at the citizens� meet were office-bearers from about 28 student and youth organizations. These included TMPK, Hindu Yuva Chatra Parishad, All Assam Minority Students Association, Tai Ahom Yuva Parishad, Muttock Yuva Chatra Sanmilan, SC Students� Association, Muslim Yuva Parishad (Socialist), Muslim Yuva Parishad (Progressive), All Sonowal Kachari Students Association, Muttuck Yuva Federation, Asomiya Yuva Mancha, Brihattar Asomiya Yuva Mancha, Kaiborta Yuva Chatra Sanmilan, All Deori Students Association, All Chutia Students Association, All Tai Ahom Students Union, Asom Yuva Parishad, and the convenors, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Parishad.
Presiding over the meeting, veteran journalist Sarat Chandra Neog said the Assamese society will have to tackle the present crises facing the society very tactfully and not be swayed by emotions alone. He said during the Assam agitation years, emotions held sway over reason, which is why the Assamese society is facing the same problems even after three decades of the Assam Accord.
Speakers at the meeting were unanimous in their condemnation of a circular from the Narendra Modi government, which wants to classify illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators into Hindus and Muslims, and worse, to declare that the Hindus among these will be granted Indian citizenship. Various speakers said they are surprised that such a circular could come from a government where a person like Sarbananda Sonowal � he was believed to be a staunch anti-foreigner crusader � is a minister.
Many a speaker also demanded that Sonowal make his stand clear on which is more dear to him: a Central government ministership and illegal foreigners or the people who voted him to be an MP and lead the Assamese society.
The proposed Sachetan Nagarik Mancha will take formal shape within this month, said the convenors. They added that the Mancha will take up social, political and economic issues with the State government as well as the Centre, keeping in mind the interests and welfare of the citizens of Assam. The new body�s jurisdiction would be limited to the Dibrugarh district, to begin with, the convenors added.