Hearing on Bill to amend Citizenship Act begins today
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Oct 12: The KMSS has questioned the Joint Committee on Bill to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 led by Dr. Satya Pal Singh as the chairperson as to why it has not called a large number of organizations of Assam, including the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), AJYCP, Axam Xahitya Xabha (AXX), KMSS, and individuals like Dr. Hiren Gohain, Udayaditya Bharali, Harekrish Deka, Haren Das, Dr. Apurba Baruah, Manjit Mahanta, Dr. Dinesh Baishya and others in the hearing on the Bill beginning from tomorrow at New Delhi.
Addressing the press in the city today, KMSS leaders Bhasco De Saikia, Dharya Konwar and Anil Boro said: “The director of the committee, TG Chandra Shekhar, has called only 13 organizations from Assam in the hearing slated from October 13 on the Bill to amend Citizenship Act. Of the 13 organizations called at the hearing only four are from Assam. They are the Sadou Asom Bengali Yuva Chatra Parishad; Hindu Aain Kosh, Asom Pradesh Committee; Citizens’ Rights Preservation Committee and the Nikhil Bharat Bengali Jatiya Parishad, Asom Pradesh. The 13 organizations, including the four from Assam, are ones which have supported the Bill. This is despite the fact that when the committee sought opinions from various organizations and individuals by September 30, 2016 many organizations and individuals from Assam did send their opinions opposing the Bill. However, the committee hasn’t invited any of the organizations and individuals opposing the Bill. This is despite the committee spelling it out clearly that those who are willing to send their opinions on the Bill should be ready to attend the hearing. We did telephone the director of the committee and send emails, but to no response from the other end. This has made it crystal clear as to what decision the Centre is going to take on the Bill. By sidelining the indigenous organizations and individuals of Assam, the Committee has insulted them.”
The KMSS leader said: “The committee has as many as four MPs – Bhubaneswar Kalita, Ramen Deka, Sushmita Dev and Kamakhya Prasad Tasha – from Assam as its members. These four members of the committee should let the people of Assam know as to why many organizations and individuals of Assam have not been invited to the hearing on the Bill. If the Committee doesn’t call other organizations and individuals from Assam to the hearing, the KMSS isn’t going to accept the decision to be taken up on the Bill. We caution the Committee and the rendra Modi government at the Centre that we’re going to start a series of agitation against the Centre’s move to provide Indian citizenship to lakhs of Hindu Bangladeshis in Assam.”