The Assam Nagorik Mancho, which is in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, has claimed that currently ‘there is no Hindu-Bangladeshi refugee in Assam’.
Addressing media persons during a press conference at Hojai on Sunday, Bijoy Chakraborty, General Secretary of Assam Nagorik Mancho, Hojai, said, “At present in Assam, there is no Hindu-Bangladeshi refugee. If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is accepted and regulated, then Assam will have nothing to lose because there is no Hindu-Bangladeshi refugee in the State.”
He added, “But this Bill will benefit the Hindu-Bangladeshis in Odisha and Jharakhand as they would get citizenship there as they still don’t have voter ID cards.”
Chakraborty also demanded that Indian citizenship be given to people on the basis of the 2014 voters’ list. He said, the Assam Nagorik Mancho has been demanding inclusion of a provision in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 for constitutional safeguard of the people whose names are included the voters’ list of 2014.
Informing that their organization was also invited along with 28 indigenous organizations to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) hearing on April 17 in New Delhi, he said, “We expressed our views in front of the JPC Chairman, Rajendra Agarwal, in presence of many leaders and government officials.”
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“As the voters’ list of 2014 was updated on the basis of the voters’ list of 1966, citizenship should be given on the basis of the 2014 voters’ list. In this connection, the Mancho has already submitted many memoranda before top level officials and on April 17, 2018 we submitted another memorandum to the JPC Chairman with the same demand in presence of many leaders and government officials,” he added.
Chakraborty said, “If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is operationalised, then there will be no threat to Assam and the Assamese language.”
He asserted, “We are bona fide Indian citizens. But in the name of National Register of Citizenship (NRC) update, our citizenship is being snatched.”
Chakraborty presenting an RTI reply on students studying in different mediums in Assam, said, “The number of students studying in Assamese medium schools at present are 24,51,188 and on the other hand, the number of students studying in Bengali medium schools currently is 4,36,186.”
He said, “The people of Assam need not worry about their rich tradition as it is fully safe.”
Amar Chand Dey, Treasurer of Assam Nagorik Mancho was also present in the press conference along with other members Mimu Saha, Rishikesh Roy and Sudan Roy.