Assam Govt allays fear on Citizenship Bill 2016

  • Assam Govt allays fear on Citizenship Bill 2016

Assam Govt allays fear on Citizenship Bill 2016

Guwahati: Bogged down by internal conflict over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, the Opposition Congress has sought a referendum on the controversial bill in Assam to solicit the view of the indigenous people of the state.

According to Laishram Peter, the Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal.

The Assam government today assured the people of the state that their interests would not be harmed by the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, and appealed to them to maintain calm. The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, a peasants' rights group, and the AGP on Sunday organised signature campaigns against the bill in different parts of the state.

"We will have discussions with all stakeholders after the NRC list comes out and then take a decision on the proposed bill", Dass said.

The situation prevailing in the state over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has made it imperative for the House to pass without delay a pending private members resolution in question, which was moved by Congress member Abdul Khaleque, Saikia said.

In order to placate the people of the state, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said he had no reason to continue on his post if he could not protect the interest of the people of the state. Already the relation between local Assamese and Hindus of other linguistic groups are not cordial due to their dominance over Assamese people in jobs and business If Assam has to take the burden of several lakh Hindu Bangladesh there will be more friction and social unrest in the state.

The chief minister said that before the JPC's visit, it was alleged that he was not allowing it to come to Assam.

The bill violates not only the Assam Accord but also the very goal of updating the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) to identify the foreigners.

The Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal ) (IMDT) Act was enacted in 1983 to detect and deport illegal foreigners from Assam.

"At a time the NRC is being updated in the State, why should the State Government give an opinion on the Bill?" To weed out migrants, the Assam Accord was signed in 1985, which says anyone who entered the state after 1971 would be considered an illegal resident.

The JPC had heard individuals, political and other organisations on the bill in Guwahati on May 7 for 30 Brahmaputra valley districts and the next two days for the three Barak valley districts.

Following the JPC hearings, protests had broken out in the Brahmaputra Valley against the Bill.

Barring Mizoram, the other six states in the northeast - Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Sikkim - are now with the BJP, which would make it especially tough for the party to garner support as the general elections scheduled next year draws close.