GUWAHATI, June 1 - Emerging from the discussion they had with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on the issue of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 here this evening, leaders of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) and their ally 28 ethnic organisations announced that they would continue with their ongoing agitation against the Citizenship Bill and the related notification and order issued in 2014 until these ultra vires proposals are scrapped.
Disclosing this, AASU chief advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya told this newspaper that Sonowal was not found categorical in his opposition to the Bill and the 2014 notification and order, which have sought to grant citizenship to the post-1971 illegal migrants from Bangladesh. The Bill and the above notification and order, if implemented, would jeopardise the very existence of the indigenous peoples of Assam, he said.
At the meeting, the AASU and its ally organisations demanded that Sonowal should oppose the Union government move to amend the Citizenship Act. They also told the Chief Minister that the Union government should also scrap the Bill and the notification and order without any delay, for, they argued, the contents of the Bill and the above notification and order are communal in nature and contrary to the provisions of the Indian Constitution.
Mentioning the firm stand of the governments of Meghalaya and Bihar against the proposed amendment, Bhattacharyya said that Sonowal seemed not to have such a firm stand against the Bill.
The AASU adviser said that at the meeting, the Chief Minister had indeed made an appeal to the people of the State not to be worried over the issue, clarifying that he had already held talks with the Union Home Minister on the issue and that the latter had assured him that the Union government would not take any step without taking the people of Assam into confidence.
However, Bhattacharyya said AASU and its ally organisations told the Chief Minister that the indigenous peoples of the State would remain worried until and unless the above proposals are withdrawn.
The AASU and its allies also demanded that the Government of India should urgently sign a repatriation treaty with Bangladesh so that Bangladeshis staying illegally in Assam and rest of the country could be deported. The Chief Minister said that he would take up the issue with the Centre.
Sonowal also assured the delegation that a simultaneous process for erecting hi-tech physical barriers along the Indo-Bangla border, to effectively seal it, would be taken up.
The delegation also demanded time-bound plan for implementing all the clauses of the Assam Accord so that constitutional safeguard to the indigenous peoples of the State could be provided expeditiously.
Providing constitutional safeguard to the indigenous peoples of the State is one of the commitments made by the Union government while signing the Assam Accord in 1985.
Bhattacharyya said the Chief Minister also assured the delegation that the NRC would be updated as per the directive of the Supreme Court and it would not contain name of any foreigner.