Jiten Dutta. Source - Internet

Leader of the pro-talk United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Jiten Dutta, has been charged with sedition for allegedly rendering provocative statement recently during a protest rally at Digboi.

Pro-talk ULFA leader Dutta on May 8, 2018 allegedly made a provocative speech during a protest rally organised by various organisations including All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) here at Digboi Charali Police Point to mark protest against the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The Bill seeks granting of Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – but not Muslims – who entered India from different neighbouring countries including Bangladesh and stay in India for six years. If the Bill is passed, Hindu Bangladeshis taking shelter in India would get Indian citizenship which has been vehemently opposed by Dutta.

Dutta, who has been actively spearheading protest against the Bill in association with the locals from different walks of life, had warned the Government of India to immediately withdraw the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or else, he said, “the youths of Assam would take to arms and join the ULFA (I) to realise the objective even at the cost of bloodshed”.

Meanwhile, taking suo motu cognizance of the statement by Dutta, a case (104/2018) has been registered at Digboi Police Station on May 9, 2018 under Section 124 (A). A notice has also been served to the pro-talk ULFA leader, Dutta, to appear in person on or before May 11, 2018.

However, Dutta, responding to the notice said that he was ready to face the trial for the sake of his motherland and further expressed his determination to join the mass movements even after his acquittal.

Needless to say, cutting across political parties, a large number of people across the State have been protesting against granting of Indian citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis from April 7, 2018 when the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Bill conducted public hearing on the Bill in Guwahati.

Several organisations and individuals from the Brahmaputra Valley came out and expressed their views before the JPC during its hearing in Guwahati.

The JPC also conducted public hearing at Silchar in the Barak Valley on May 8 and 9, 2018. However, in Silchar, the organisations in the Valley extended support to the Bill. But the Bill was again faced opposition by most of the organisations during the JPC’s hearing in Shillong on Thursday.

The protesting organisations have expressed that if the Bill is passed then it would threaten the existence of the indigenous people of Assam.

The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Laxman Sharma

Laxman Sharma is Northeast Now Correspondent in Digboi. He can be reached at: laxmansharma.press@gmail.com

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