Assam’s Brahmaputra valley and Barak valley displayed complete opposite picture when it came to taking a stand on the proposed bill. The former had majority in opposition whereas in Barak, the majority was in support of the bill. Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 began its public hearing at Silchar in the state’s Barak valley on May 08.
The hearing began in the late afternoon hours of the day for three districts – Karimgang, Hailakandi and Cachar at the National Institute of Technology. According to reports, a large number of people formed a human chain and expressed their support for the Bill. Overall 357 organisations had applied to meet the JPC from the three districts.
Out of the 357 organisations, 88 are from Karimganj, 109 from Hailakandi and 160 from Cachar district. The committee allowed the organisations and individuals without prior registration and also accepted their memorandum.
Congress leader Gautam Roy expressed his support towards the Bill on humanitarian grounds, however, stated that the whole country should take the responsibility of those given citizenship under the Bill and not Assam alone.
The hearing in Silchar ended on the afternoon of May 09 after which the JPC is headed towards Meghalaya where the hearing is listed on May 10 and 11.
The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 and is scheduled to be presented in the winter session of Parliament.