The Kokrajhar District Committee of the Congress on Tuesday strongly opposed the move of the Central government to implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 to grant Indian citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis living in Assam and took out a protest rally in Kokrajhar town.
The rally, which was started from Rajiv Bhavan in the heart of Kokrajhar town, moved to the DC office where the district Congress leaders submitted a memorandum to the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Bill through the DC, Kokrajhar.
The rally, which was led by the secretary of the APCC and in-charge of Kokrajhar district of the APCC, Biswajit Ray and president of Kokrajhar District Congress Committee Mandol, was joined by around hundred supporters.
The Congress activists shouted against the BJP-led State and Central governments and demanded withdrawal of the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Talking to reporters, the secretary of the APCC, Biswajit Ray, who was also the former president of the All Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU), said the Congress has strongly opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill moved by the BJP on the basis of religion.
Ray said, “Bangladeshis are Bangladeshis and there is no question of accepting the Bangladeshis on the basis of religion as it is against the Constitution and against the interest of the indigenous people of the State as a whole.”
He also said if the Bill is passed and Hindu Bangladeshis are given Indian citizenship it would destroy the interests of the indigenous people of the State.
Ray also said the proposed Bill is also against the interest of Assam Accord which was signed in 1985. He further said as many as 855 people of the State sacrificed their lives during the Assam Movement against the illegal settlers of Bangladeshis and thus accepting the Bangladeshis on the basis of religion would hurt the sentiments of the martyrs’ families.
Ray said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his last Lok Sabha election campaign openly said the illegal Bangladeshis of the State would have to leave the State with bag and baggage after May 16, but instead of deporting the illegal Bangladeshis, Modi government is going to grant citizenship rights to the Bangladeshis staying illegally on the basis of religion.
He accused the BJP government of trying to destroy the communal harmony of people by dividing religious integrity.
The Congress leader said Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal once led the AASU and they launched statewide agitation demanding complete deportation of Bangladeshis from the State.
He said, “Sonowal fought for scrapping of IMD(T) Act and accordingly, the Act was finally came to an end where Sonowal earned fame as a ‘national hero’ but his real face has come to light after supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.”