The leaders of several organisations in Assam including literary and students’ bodies, and a number of intellectuals and journos on Sunday raised voice against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 during a national convention organised at Ban Theatre in Tezpur.
The conclave also resolved to register strong protest against the Bill in Delhi.
During the national conclave, all the leaders from different organizations from across the region expressed their opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 stating that the “Bill is nothing but a well-planned mechanism to collapse the identity of the indigenous people of Assam”.
The organisations which joined the convention included Asom Sahitya Sabha, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), All Assam Deori Students’ Union (AADSU), Sadou Asom Goria Moria Deshi Jatiya Parishad (SAGMDJP), Karbi Students’ Union (KSU), All Santal Student’s Union (ASSU), Tiwa Satra Parishad (TSP), All Dimasa Students’ Union (ADSU) and Asom Sah Janagoshthya Sahitya Sabha (ASJSS).
Speaking at the convention organized by the All Assam Journalists’ Union, AASU chief adviser Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya stated that for the sake of self determination, identity, language, culture and literature, no one can allow both Hindu and Muslim Bangladeshis to settle in the region.
“We will soon become minority and all our cultures and languages will perish if the Bill is implemented. The Bill is a big threat to the people of the region,” said Dr Bhattacharya.
He also stated, “Assam is the State which has been fighting consecutively for the last 32 years seeking constitutional safeguard and self determination of its denizens.”
In his long speech, mentioning some points of Assam Accord, the senior AASU leader further stated that during the talks between the then Prime Minister of India and Bangladesh in February 1972, the Bangladesh Prime Minister assured of taking back all Bangladeshi nationals, who have taken shelter in India since March 25, 1971.
“Accordingly a circular was issued by the Government of India on March 30, 1972 setting out guidelines for action to be taken in respect of persons who have come to India from Bangladesh,” he added.
According to this circular, those Bangladeshi nationals who came to India before March 25, 1971 were not to be sent back and those who entered India in or after the said date were to be repatriated.”
Expressing his grave concern over the government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the long pending issue, the AASU leader also stated that the Barpeta incident united the indigenous organizations to fight against Bangladeshis.
Besides other panelists, senior journalists like Munin Bayon, Pranjal Sen Deka, Paragmoni Aditya and other leaders of the participating organisations also condemned both State and Central governments and expressed their stand against implementation of the Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2016. They also put forward their suggestions to expedite the movement against the Bill in a vigorous manner to give more pressure on the Indian government so that it withdraws the decision of implementing the Bill.
Earlier, in his keynote address, senior journalist Ajit Kumar Bhuyan mentioned that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which came to power in Assam with the commitment of making Assam free from Bangladeshis, is now in favour of settling the Hindu Bangladeshis in the region which can never be supported.
Later the conclave took a number of resolutions including registering strong protest against the Bill in Delhi.