Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

It's Barak Valley versus Brahmaputra Valley over citizenship amendment bill

It's Barak Valley versus Brahmaputra Valley over citizenship amendment bill

The Accord marked the end of anti-foreigner movement - anyone who entered the state after the midnight of March 24, 1971, would be considered an illegal immigrant, irrespective of their faith.

Sonowal said, "There are 33 districts in the state".

Concerned by the large scale public outrage in Assam against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, the Assam Government on Friday tried to quell the fire and said that the BJP led Government is not going to do anything that affects the interest of the State.

His assertions came amidst simmering anger among the locals against the Bill which seeks to grant citizenship to the non-Muslim immigrants of Bangladesh, besides Pakistan and Afghanistan, who infiltrated into the country till December 31, 2014. "We are against the bill that will threaten the existence of the indigenous peoples, and will not hesitate to pull out of the government if it is passed".

This implies that illegal migrants belonging to these religions will not be deported or imprisoned for being in India without valid documents.

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said there is no reason for him to remain chief minister if he is unable to protect the interest of the people in the north-east state.

Stating that the Committee has visited states like Rajasthan and Gujarat, he added that the panel may think of visiting more states in the North East since there are requests to even visit other states for seeking views from the people The Committee will submit its report to the Lok Sabha speaker.

"North East is not the dumping ground for illegal Bangladeshis and the Bill is a threat to the identify of our indigenous people", he said while making it clear that the region can not take the load of Bangladeshis beyond 1971 be it Hindu or Muslim Bangladeshis.

Assam is always a sensitive state for its foreigner's issues. "I appeal all to maintain peace so that unwanted situations do not develop in the state", he said.

Protests were staged against the Bill in front of the venue where the JPC hearing was held as people feared that it would breach the clauses of the Assam Accord.

The North East Students Organisation (NESO), in a petition to the committee, said the people of the region should be provided with "constitutional safeguards".

In the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley, most of the 315 points of feedback given to the parliamentary committee were in favour of the bill, news agency Press Trust of India reported. While nearly all organisations and non-BJP political parties in Assamese-speaking Brahmaputra Valley opposed the bill, the Bengali-speaking Barak Valley supported it.

Following the JPC hearings, protests have been taking place on a daily basis in the Brahmaputra valley against the Bill.

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