The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has given ‘a fresh lease of life’ to the activities of the Paresh Baruah led proscribed ULFA (I).
Special DGP (Special Branch) of the Assam Police, Pallab Bhattacharyya said that the proposed Bill has led to a new rift between the state’s Assamese- and Bengali-speaking communities, in turn fomenting trouble.
The top officer further said that the recent publication of unverified news reports regarding the death of the chief of the ULFA (I), Paresh Barua, could add to the tension.
“The faultline between Assamese- and Bengali-speakers in the state is a historical one and the proposed Bill has added fuel to it. There was trouble during the language movement of the 1960s and then were some trouble initially during the Assam movement. But then it had subsided. Now again it has come up,” Indian Express quoted Bhattacharyya as saying.
Bhattacharyya however denied media reports of “large scale recruitment by the ULFA (I)”.
“Since September 1, eight persons have joined the ULFA (I) in Udalguri and Tinsukia districts. Some others have been apprehended. This is the figure we have now,” he said.
The bill seeks to grant citizenship to the persecuted non-Muslim immigrants of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who migrated to India till December 31, 2014.