More than 562 organisations, thousands of people come out against Citizenship Amendment Bill

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The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) hearing on the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 was held in Guwahati on May 07. Thousands of Assamese people came out staging protests against the bill as it would threaten the existence of the indigenous people of Assam with citizenship being granted to Bangladeshi Hindus in Assam.

More than 562 organisations from across Assam came out against the bill and submitted memoranda; KMSS (Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti) alone submitted 2,000 memoranda.

Organisations have claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Bill would breach the clauses of the historic ‘Assam Accord’, which states that foreigners who come to Assam from Bangladesh after 1971 have to be deported, irrespective of their religion.

BJP’s ally in the state, AGP, and opposition Congress too came out against the bill. Dr Hiren Gohain and his team submitted a 110-page memorandum to the JPC. The AGP has also alleged that the bill will destroy secularism in the state.

Former Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi alleged that the bill shall create a divide on the basis of religion, disturbing the age-old peace and harmony of the state.

BJP leader Mira Borthakur came out openly, protesting the bill, stating that a foreigner is a foreigner irrespective of whether he is a Hindu or a Muslim. However, BJP MP and member of the JPC Kamakhya Prasad Tasa said “A wrong message is being spread that only Bangladeshi Hindus will be brought in if the bill is implemented.”

It may be mentioned here that organisations and individuals, who had not registered themselves for the hearing earlier, were also allowed to participate in the JPC hearing. The JPC shall conduct the hearing in Silchar on Tuesday.

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