GUWAHATI, Oct 15: The Citizen Right Protection Forum, Assam (CRPFA) has said that it wants NRC update as well as the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Talking to the media at Dispur Press Club on Monday, CRPFA convener Kamal Choudhury said: “We respect the cut-off date of March 24, 1971 for NRC update in accordance with the Assam Accord. However, the names of over 40 lakh people, including that of Hindu Bangladeshis, have failed to make it to the complete draft NRC. All the Hindu Bangladeshis now in Assam entered the State before 1971. However, many of such people have no documents to prove their entry into the State before the cut-off year. While most of such people have been declared as ‘D’ voters and languishing in detention camps, some have been declared foreigners by tribunals. A large number of such people have failed to make it to the complete draft NRC. If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill gets its passage, many of such people can get Indian citizenship and produce documents for making it to the NRC. We’re skeptical of the NRC authority dropping five of the 15 NRC documents. We hope the government will take corrective measures.”
When asked that only minorities of neighbouring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan entering Assam on or before December 31, 2014 will be entitled to get Indian citizenship in the event of the passage of the Bill, Choudhury said: “There’s no possibility of any Hindu Bangladeshi entering Assam after 1971.”
On the threat perception to Assamese language, literature and culture as being apprehended by a section of people in Assam, Choudhury said: “Such an impact is remote as the Bengalis living in Assam have already accepted Assamese language and culture. We will never let Assam to be another Bangladesh or Tripura.”
Choudhury said: “We’ve always been at the receiving end, no matter which party is in power. We voted the BJP to power, but the government being led by the party has poured cold water on our hopes and aspirations the way the Congress and AGP governments did in the past. In order to let intellectuals and nationalist organizations of Assam know the identity crisis of Hindu Bengalis, we’ve called a meeting at Khanapara in Guwahati on November 17, 2018. This meeting is not an anti-indigenous one, nor has it been called in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.” The CRPFA is a conglomerate of 26 Bengali organizations. Some others who spoke on behalf of the forum at the press meet are Sukumar Biswas, Suren Sarkar, Utpal Sarkar, Robin Birulus and others.