We Will not Support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 at Any Cost, AGP says


Story highlights

  • AGP has demanded the central government to withdraw the bill back
  • AGP has a clear stand and no compromise will be made with the interest of the people of Assam

Guwahati: Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has come with a statement. On Thursday, AGP made a clear stand that despite being in an alliance in the Bharatiya Jana Party (BJP) led government, they will not support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 at any cost. They have demanded the central government to withdraw the bill back, sources said.

According to AGP’s president and a current minister in the state government, Atul Bora said that the AGP will not support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 at any cost as it leads to a complete violation of the greater interests of the people of Assam and it mostly violates the Assam Accord.

We have discussed the issue with all the sections of the society including all the intellectuals of the state. AGP has a clear stand and no compromise will be made with the interest of the people of Assam. If needed we will make any sacrifice needed to protect the future of the people of Assam, he added.

Atul further said that AGP will move to Delhi now to meet the Home Minister and appeal him for taking the Bill back so that the people of Assam do have to face any problems relating to the settlement of a huge number of migrants from other countries.

He made these statements during a citizenship meeting where many prominent personalities of Assam were present. During the meeting, some even claimed that if the bill is passed a huge number of migrants from other countries are given settlement into Assam then maybe another Assam Movement will take place as it will lead the future of Assam into darkness.

All Assam Students’ Union president, Dipankar Nath also made a statement claiming that the Bill is a process of pushing the future of Assam and the people into a complete darkness which cannot be accepted at any cost. People of Assam must oppose it together.

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PPFA calls for rational debates on citizenship bill
By Our Correspondent
Guwahati: Expressing absolute annoyance over a section of Assamese intellectuals and civil society groups for projecting the citizenship amendment bill 2016 in a bias perception, the Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA) today emphasizes on a healthy debate over the matter.
The forum of patriotic people in a statement pointed out that those motivated elements had been claiming, as if, the concerned bill is Assam centric and once it turns into a law, millions of Bengali Hindu people from Bangladesh would be dumped in the State and the practice will continue for decades.
Those biased individuals have cleverly concealed that the asylum seekers belonged to Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities had already taken shelter in India and there is no provision in the amendments to bring more Bangladeshi (or Pakistani and Afghan national) after 31 December 2014.
“Moreover, they are not merely Bengali Hindus, but a mix of Rajbongshi, Hajong, Jayantiya, Bishnupriya, Chakma, Garo, Khasi, Adivasi etc people. We should not forget that all these people became the victims of Pakistan’s partition game plan and had to live in a foreign land, for the creation of which they were not responsible at all,” said the PPFA statement.
The forum also urged the State government in Dispur led by Sarbananda Sonowal to clarify the content of the amendment bill seeking to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 with the provisions to grant citizenship to those persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh after due processes, so that the indigenous populace do not get misguided and panicky.
Extending supports to the initiative, the PPFA however raised voices for equal distribution of those asylum seekers from the neighbouring countries across India. Moreover, those who prefer to stay legally in Assam, the forum would like to ask them to adopt the Assamese language as their medium of instructions.
“Adopting the Assamese language as the medium of official language by those settlers would help in promoting the Assamese culture and also contributing for a stronger and safer India. Their goodwill will also remove the linguistic threat perception to the indigenous populace of Assam,” asserted the statement.
The PPFA also reiterated its old stand to detect all immigrants from the then East Pakistan (and later Bangladesh) with the cut-off year of 1951 as it is applicable to the entire nation. The organisation also urged the Union government in New Delhi to consider offering work permits (without voting rights) to those immigrants in case their deportation becomes impossible due to serious humanitarian and international crisis.
Weighing for 1951 as the base year to detect the foreigners, the PPFA argued that the spirit of Assam Movement (1979 to 1985) was to deport all foreigners since 1951, for which over 850 martyrs-Khargeswar Talukder being the first, sacrificed their lives.
It clarified that the immigrants who entered India after 1951 till 16 December 1971 should be treated as East Pakistani nationals, as Bangladesh emerged as a sovereign nation only after 16 December (not 25 March 1971 as often reported in the media) following the surrender of Pakistani forces under the leadership of AAK Niazi to the Bangladesh Mukti Bahini. Their ‘Father of the Nation’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman only declared independence of Bangladesh in the late hours of 25 March 1971.

The statement was endorsed by Dr Nirode K Barooah, Dr Rabin Dev Choudhury, Manju Bora, Jahnabi Goswami, Kalyan Dutta-Choudhury, Rupam Barua, Ankur Bora, Anjana Bora, Nava Thakuria, Pramod Kalita, Jagadindra Raichoudhury, Nayan Prasad, Anup Sarma, Oken Jeet Sandham, Ujjal Saikia, Rubee Das, Namrata Datta, Babita Sarma, Mridul Kumar Chakrabarty, Biswajit Nath, Kishor Bhuyan, Indranil Kalita, Subhra Kinkor Goswami, Bidhayak Das, Kishour Giri, Ravindra Nath, Utpal Parashar, Anirban Choudhury, DN Singh, Samya Bharadwaj, Smriti Divya Barua, Bhaswati Sarma, Dayal Kr Nath, Sabyasachi Sharma, Dipankar Baruah, Rajib Chowdhury, Sanjoy Ray, Prarthana Hazarika, Manikankan Barooah, Samin Deka, Sanjib Kalita, Monalisa Mahanta, Manoj Khandelwal, Kumarjit Sarma, Gitika Talukder, Dibson Barua, Mrinmoy Buragohain etc for the PPFA