The Assam Nagarik Samaj (ANS), a civil society organization of the State, has condemned the statement of Rajendra Agrawal, chairman of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
The JPC Chairman Agrawal had said that there should not be any problem in granting citizenship to Hindu foreigners as the country was partitioned on the basis of religion.
“The comment of the chairman of the JPC was most surprising! Such partisan views on the part of the JPC chairman before the public hearing is most uncalled for and objectionable. We condemn this public utterance of the JPC chairman,” former DGP and author Harekishna Deka, senior journalists Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, Prasanta Rajguru, educationist Akhil Ranjan Dutta and writer and activist Paresh Malakar said in a statement issued on behalf of the citizens’ group on Friday.
Coming down heavily on the Assam government for allegedly asking the parliamentary panel not to visit the state for public hearing citing security reasons, the ANS said, “We have also come to know that the Government of Assam asked the JPC not to visit the state for public hearing as it would not be possible for the government to provide the necessary security to it while visiting Assam. This is utterly baffling.
“We strongly oppose this and urged upon the state government to facilitate the visit of the JPC to Assam at the earliest so that all sections of the people can air their views freely and frankly before the JPC,” it added.
Opposing the move of the Centre of granting citizenship to foreigners on religious ground who came to Assam after 1971, the ANS said, “We consider this a threat to the national identity of Assam. We have been facing such attacks on our identity since the colonial time. Today under the present dispensation we are faced with another such danger. In this crisis, we must all fight against this and defeat this evil design.”
A number of intellectuals, journalists, poets, writers, educationists and civil society activists including Nilmoni Phukan, Nirupama Borgohain, Lakhinandan Bora , Harekrishna Deka, Kulendu Pathak, Gajen Talukdar,Anima Guha, Tultul Barua, Sudakhina Sarma, Dilip Hazarika, Kulada Kumar Bhattacharya, Lakshmi Goswami, Benu Misra, Nipan Goswami, Pulak Gogoi, Chandra Mohan Sarma, Kanaksen Deka, Arup Kumar Dutta, Bimal Phukan, Indibar Deuri, Pradip Barua, Anuradha Dutta, Dulal Chandra Goswami, Haidar Hussain, Nitya Bora, Munin Bayan, Dilip Chandan, Udayan Misra, Pradip Acharya, Arupa Patangia Kalita, Uddhab Bharali, Jadab Payeng, Shantikam Hazarika, Dhirendranath Saikia, Samir Tanti, Loknath Goswami, Kirti Kamal Bhuyan, Prabhat Bora, Jyotirmoy Jana, Udayan Biswas, Kiran Shankar Roy, Abu Nasar Saied Ahmed, Tosaprava Kalita, Sitanath Lahkar, Manoj Barpujari, Chandan Kumar Sharma, Isfaqur Rahman and Suprakash Talukdar.