TANGLA, May 20: The frontline indigenous groups in the State have registered their opposition to the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that will facilitate grant of citizenship to Hindu Bengali refugees from Bangladesh. Litterateurs, senior citizens, artistes and journalists have come out opposing the Citizenship Bill which violates the spirit of secularism as enshrined in the Constitution by distinguishing illegal immigrants on the basis of religion. Probojon Birudhi Aikhyo Mancha took out a mass signature collection drive at Udalguri from Saturday.
The organization demanded that the proposed bill, which poses a threat to the existence of the ethnic communities in the State by facilitating citizenship to Hindu Bengali migrants from Bangladesh, should be terminated and the socio- political rights of indigenous communities protected. “The proposed bill will destroy or exterminate the indigenous ST, SC and other ethnic communities of Assam and reduce the indigenous people of the State into minorities,” said senior journalist Akhil Kalita. The activists of Asom Jatiyabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and Asomiya Yuva Mancha (AYM) also joined the drive. The signatures will be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office through the Deputy Commissioner of Udalguri.