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Prabajan Virodhi Manch demands protection

By Staff Correspondent

DIBRUGARH, March 10 - A senior advocate of Supreme Court Upamanyu Hazarika led Prabajan Virodhi Manch today organised a massive demonstration in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here, seeking redemption from problems of illegal Bangladeshis in the State.

The Manch who later submitted a memorandum to the President of India, Prime Minister of India and the Union Home Minister through the district administration here said that large areas of indigenous inhabitants in Assam and the North-east had been converted into minority tracts due to large scale illegal migration from Bangladesh. For 30 years, after signing of the Assam Accord no action has been initiated towards identification and deportation. On the contrary, updating of the National Register of Citizen (NRC) will only grant citizenship to most Bangladeshis coming to Assam up to December 3, 2004, the Manch stated in the memorandum.

�NRC updating is not going to protect the indigenous people of the state if land, jobs and other government benefits are not specifically meant for those who are citizens of India since 1951. The NRC on present terms will only legitimize Bangladeshis and ensure that indigenous people become minority by 2040. The signature campaign has been organised to draw the attention of the Centre on these burning illegal Bangladeshi issues,� he said.

The memorandum has demanded amendment of the Citizenship Act and the Section 3 thereof, by making the condition of citizenship by birth to be granted only if both parents are citizens, effective from March 25, 1971 instead of December 3, 2004 or alignment with such other date decided by the Supreme Court or other constitutional authority which may decide the cut-off date for conferring citizenship to migrants from Bangladesh.

The Manch further demanded through the memorandum implementation of Clause 5.8 of the Assam Accord by detecting and deporting foreigners and clear all government lands, forest lands, grazing lands, reserve forest lands etc., from encroachment by Bangladeshis, in terms of Clause 10 of the Assam Accord. It has also sought investigation either by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any Central investigative agency into the illegalities in the procurement of fabricated identity proofs, involvement of the state government officials and tampering of the original National Register of Citizens (NRC) document.

Senior advocate Hazarika said that if these measures were not carried out on an immediate and urgent basis, then the indigenous people will gradually become minority and lose their identity in their own land. Hazarika led the demonstration from the Saharia Hall in Chowkidinghee to the office of the Deputy Commissioner.

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