Citizenship Bill: AASU, 28 ethnic groups meet Mukhi, submit memorandum

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HT Bureau

Guwahati, June 22: A delegation of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and 28 other organisations representing various ethnic groups called on Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi on Friday and demanded constitutional safeguard to the indigenous people of the state by implementing the Clause 6 of Assam Accord.

The delegation also demanded scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, sealing of Indo-Bangla border and bilateral agreement between India and Bangladesh.

“We have demanded the Governor to implement the Assam Accord for the greater interest of the indigenous people of tyhe state,” AASU chief advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya told reporters here.

“The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 would jeopardise the identity of the indigenous communities in the state,” Bhattacharyya said.

“We are against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 because it will have an adverse impact on the Assamese society. The government is planning to bring Hindu Bangladeshis to Assam which is intolerable,” Bhattacharyya added.

“We have demanded to take a time bound action plan for implementation of the Assam Accord and an error-free NRC draft,” the AASU chief advisor said.

“We had warned the government of a statewide agitation if they fail to scrap the bill. According to the 1985 Assam Accord, who had come to the state after March 24,1971, should be treated as illegal migrants. But now the BJP is trying to provide citizenship on the basis of religion which will go against the people of Assam. The bill should be scrapped as it is a threat to the culture, language and identity of Assamese people,” he also said

Giving a stern warning to the Centre and the state government over the move to grant citizenship on religious lines, Bhattacharyya said implementation of the bill cannot be allowed at any cost. “We demand a time-bound action plan to implement the Assam Accord signed with the Centre, which clearly says all illegal immigrants who entered Assam after March 25, 1971 must be detected and deported. The Modi government must undertake urgent measures to seal the Indo-Bangladesh border and initiate the process of signing a pact between the India and Bangladesh governments so that the illegal immigrants can be deported to the neighbouring country.”

“The Centre should adhere to the Assam Accord clauses. It should not tinker with it,’ he added.

Talking about National Register of Citizens (NRC), Bhattacharyya said, “NRC updating process has stagnated in some places of the state due to flood. The State NRC Cordinator Prateek Hazela already tabled the matter before the Supreme Court of India. We have also discussed the issue with the Governor.”

The AASU chief advisor also appealed to the NRC officials to work with dedication to produce an error-free NRC.

The delegation in its memorandum submitted to the Governor demanded the Union government to declare the flood as national calamity.

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