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

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

In the wake of recent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, the Assam government on Friday said it will not do anything which is detrimental to the interest of the state.

The move on the part of central government to amend in Lok Sabha 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 have created strong opposition in Assam. "We will organise the signature campaign across Assam till May 30", Asom Gana Parishad President Atul Bora said.

"Even without passing of the Bill, illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are crossing over to the region be it Assam, Tripura or any other state", he said while maintaining that the North East region can not take the burden of Bangladeshis anymore since the region took the entire load of Bangladeshis fleeing their country during their liberation war. "The migrants should be distributed across India and Assam should not be made to bear their burden", he said.

"We want a correct NRC, which is being updated under the directives of the Supreme Court, to protect the identity of the Assamese people", he said. "I appeal all to maintain peace so that unwanted situations do not develop in the state", he said.

"The JPC has also not asked for our opinion". 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.

Mr Sonowal said there are allegations against him that he was not allowing the parliamentary committee to visit Assam.

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"On July 16, 2014, the then Congress government had taken a decision at a Cabinet meeting to grant asylum/citizenship to the (non-Muslim) immigrants of Bangladesh who migrated to Assam in the face of religious persecution".

"The proposed bill is the latest example that "lawmakers of the country have no regard for the future of the North-eastern region", Jyrwa said". The state has seen violence in the past over the issue of illegal immigrants.

A human chain carrying placards also supported the Bill, while politicians of both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress supported it even as their respective parties opposed it in the Brahmaputra valley.

Protests were staged against the Bill in front of the venue where the JPC hearing was held as people feared that it would breach the clauses of the Assam Accord.

However, in the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley, a majority of the 315 opinions submitted to the JPC were in favour of the Bill while protests have been taking place on a daily basis in the Brahmaputra valley against the Bill. "The JPC has not taken any decision as the hearings are not yet over".