Lets Us Take A Pledge To Oppose JPC Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016

Prafulla Kumar Mahanta in Guwahati on Thursday

A key amendment in the Bill seeks to grant citizenship to people without valid documents from six minority communities - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India.

These groups say the bill will violate the Assam Accord of 1985 and citizenship can not be granted on the basis of religion.

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.

Northeast Students Organisation chief Sammujjwal Bhattacharyya said the organisation would not allow the northeast to become a "dumping ground for illegal Bangladeshis".

Stating that the Committee has visited states like Rajasthan and Gujarat, he added that the panel may think of visiting more states in the North East since there are requests to even visit other states for seeking views from the people The Committee will submit its report to the Lok Sabha speaker.

He was interacting with the editors of print and electronic media in Guwahati recently on the prevailing situation in the state following the recent visit of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.

Jyrwa while appreciating the decision of the Meghalaya Government to oppose the Bill also urged the Chief Ministers of other states to take a cue from Meghalaya Government and oppose the Bill.

As many senior Congr-ess leaders not only defied the party line but also made provocative statements in support of the bill, former CM Tarun Gogoi said, "We want a referendum on the issue to make things clear". We all have to ensure peace across the state and keep faith in the government. "It is not double-speak but triple-speak", the Minister said. "It was due to his efforts that saw the IMDT (Illegal Migrants' Determination Tribunal) Act, which made detection of immigrants hard, being struck down (by the Supreme Court)", the state's Industries Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary told reporters in Guwahati.

Asked about the state government's position on the controversial Bill, Patowary said the government would disclose its stand only after the publication of National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Slamming the Congress for showing double standard, Patowary said while Congress leaders in Guwahati are opposing the bill, its leaders in Bengali-dominated Barak Valley are supporting it. Following the JPC hearings, protests have been taking place on a daily basis in the Brahmaputra valley against the Bill.

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