Citizenship Act (Amendment) Bill
GUWAHATI, April 12: The Forum Against Citizenship Act Amendment Bill (FACAAB) has vehemently protested against hearing on the Citizenship Act (Amendment) Bill by the Joint Parliamentary Committee slated for April 17 in New Delhi. On Thursday the Forum organized a huge protest against the proposed hearing at Ganesh Mandir Uddyan, Ganeshguri in Guwahati. It may be recalled earlier that on several occasions earlier such hearings by the JPC were deferred.
Significantly, registering its vehement protest, the Forum declared, “We oppose the plan to divide Assam on commul line; JPC beware of commul fires.”
The forum has alleged that the JPC chairman Rajendra Agarwala had earlier stated that citizenship should be based on religious line. The Forum has strongly condemned the alleged statement and has demanded that the JPC chief be removed from his post.
Forum has questioned as to why the proposed hearing is slated to be held in Delhi and not in Assam. It has demanded that such hearing should be held in Assam and that all parties and organizations of Assam be invited. Further, several speakers at the protest have alleged that it is a deep-rooted conspiracy by the Centre against the Assamese people and the move, if fulfilled, would cause the very identity of the Assamese people to vanish.
The Forum has asserted that the destiny of the people of Assam cannot be determined from Delhi and such plan by the centre will not be accepted by the Forum and by the people of Assam. Accordingly, the Forum has requested all the parties and organizations of Assam to boycott the proposed hearing in Delhi on April 17. The protest was attended by eminent educationist and public activist Dr Hiren Gohain, noted jourlist Nirupama Borgohain, APCC chief Ripun bora, frontline jourlist Hayder Hussain, educationist Dinesh Baishya and senior representatives of several parties and organizations of the state.
Interestingly, BJP leader Mira Barthakur also took part in the protest and said that that the issue involves vital interests of the people of Assam and hence she has joined the protest. She also criticized the policy of the Centre in respect of the amendment of the Citizenship Act.