Guwahati, Oct 27 (IANS) Dozens of organisations, protesting the Assam Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, which seeks citizenship for persecuted minorities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, have decided to launch a movement from November 5 this year.
The protesting organisations feel that if the Bill is implemented, it will result in indigenous communities becoming minorities in their own land.
The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to provide citizenship to illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who are of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian extraction. The Act doesn’t have a provision for Muslim sects such as the Shias and Ahmediyas who also face persecution in Pakistan.
Assam’s farmers’ leader and prominent RTI activist Akhil Gogoi said that people in Assam and north-eastern states have been opposing the Bill on the ground that it would make the indigenous communities a minority in their own land.
Gogoi along with representatives of 60 organisations addressed a joint press conference on Saturday, saying the organisations will start a movement from November 5 this year if the Central government goes ahead with the Bill.
“The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is under consideration of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). It’s illegal to issue any notification. But the BJP-led NDA government will try to execute the same in Assam and northeast as well,” Gogoi said.
Gogoi leads Krishak Mukti Sangram samiti (KMSS), who along with Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and others, has been opposing the amendment bill. The 60 organizations had called for a Assam bandh on October 23 against the Bill and it drew good response in Assam across the state.
“We are going to distribute pamphlets exposing the BJP and RSS’s designs to settle the Bengali Hindus in Assam. We are going to make the people aware about the threat of the Bill to the indigenous communities of Assam and other northeastern states,” he said.
The organisations have also called a meeting on November 3 to discuss the next course of agitation against the Bill.