Assam opposition leader seeks Special Assembly session on Assam Accord

Women participate in the rally in Guwahati on Sunday

Women participate in the rally in Guwahati on Sunday

The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants belonging to six communities - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - eligible for Indian citizenship after six years of residence in the country.

However, Assam Congress has rejected the earlier stand of the party and asserted that they are opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

"In the first phase of the protest, we will create mass awareness through eminent personalities of the state", Dinesh Baishya, an academician and convener of the samiti, said.

Hundreds of people protested on Saturday in Assam against the Centre's proposed move to grant citizenship rights to persecuted religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. "We will not take any decision that goes against the people of Assam".

Several organisations and citizens took out a procession to voice their concern against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, saying it would breach the clauses of the Assam Accord that states that all illegal foreigners who came to Assam after 1971 from Bangladesh, irrespective of their religion, have to be deported. During the 80 the students' movement of Assam had raised the issue and fought with the Government.

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 member's resolution in question, which was moved by Congress member Abdul Khaleque, Saikia said.

JPC Chairman hinted that the committee would also worked out a plan to also visit other states in the Northeast, if needed.

Ranjeet Kumar Dass in Guwahati on Sunday
Ranjeet Kumar Dass in Guwahati on Sunday

JPC chairman and BJP MP Rajendra Agrawal, who was present at the meet today, said all opinions and views will be compiled in a report and submitted to the Parliament.

Mr Sonowal said there are allegations against him that he was not allowing the parliamentary committee to visit Assam. They said there can not be any change to the cut-off date - March 25, 1971 - and those who came later have to be deported, a demand that has kept the pot simmering for close to three decades now.

In 2015 and 2016, the government issued two notifications exempting certain groups of illegal migrants from provisions of the 1920 and the 19246 Acts.

The North East Students Organisation (NESO), in a petition to the committee, said the people of the region should be provided with "constitutional safeguards".

Hailing Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, the office bearers of NESO, urged upon all the CMs of NE to follow his footsteps and oppose the bill tooth and nail.

Meanwhile, in Barak Valley, organisations representing Bengali-speaking Hindus are infuriated over protests in the Brahmaputra Valley.

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