National conclave resolves to raise voice against passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

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By Pranab Kumar Das

Tezpur, March 11: A National Conclave of various organisations, including Asam Sahitya Sabha, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Dewri Students’ Union (DSU), Goria-Moria Dekhio Parishad (GMDP), Karbi Students’ Union (KSU), Santhal Student’s Union (SSU), Tiwa Chatra Parishad (TCP), All Dimasa Student’s Union (ADSU), Asom Chah Janagusthya Sahitya Sabha (ACJSS) on Sunday voiced against passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 on the floor of the Parliament.

The National Conclave organised by All Assam Journalists’ Union (AAJU) at Ban Theatre in Tezpur with the theme “A protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016” observed that the Bill is nothing but a well planned mechanism to collapse the identity of the indigenous people of Assam.

The Conclave adopted a number of resolutions, including registering strong protest against the passage of the Bill in New Delhi.

In his address, AASU chief advisor Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya stated that for the safeguard of identity, language, culture and literature, no one can allow both Hindu and Muslim Bangladeshis to settle in the region. “We will soon become minority and all our cultures and languages will perish if the Bill is implemented. The Bill is a big threat to the people of the region,” Dr Bhattacharya said.

“Assam is the state which has been fighting consecutively for the last 32 years seeking constitutional safeguard and self determination of its denizens,” Dr Bhattacharya also said.

The AASU leader further stated that during the talks between the then Prime Minister of India and Bangladesh in February 1972, the Bangladesh Prime Minister had assured of taking back all Bangladeshi nationals, who have taken shelter in India since March 25, 1971.

“Accordingly a circular was issued by the government of India on March 30, 1972 setting out guidelines for action to be taken in respect of persons who have come to India from Bangladesh,” he added.

According to this circular, those Bangladeshi nationals who came to India before March 25, 1971 were not to be sent back and those who entered India in or after the said date were to be repatriated.”

Expressing his grave concern over the government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the long pending issue, the AASU leader also stated that the Barpeta incident united the indigenous organisations to fight against Bangladeshis.

Besides other panellists, senior journalists like Munin Bayon, Pranjal Sen Deka, Paragmoni Aditya and other leaders of the participating organisations also condemned both state and Central governments and expressed their stand against the passage of the Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2016. They also put forward their suggestions to expedite the movement against the Bill in a vigorous manner to give more pressure on the Indian government so that it withdraws the decision of implementing the Bill.

AAJU president, Pankaj Kumar Nath and office bearers of two different Karbi national organisations, Dhaniram Ingleng and Samson Terang also graced the occasion.

Earlier, in his keynote address, senior journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan mentioned that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which came to power in Assam with the commitment of making Assam free from Bangladeshis, is now in favour of settling the Hindu Bangladeshis in the region which can never be supported.

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