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Indigenous Mancha to meet all MPs

We have met many Hindu minorities in Bangladesh and they told us that they are safe in the neighboring country. So where is the necessity of bringing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill? — Prafulla Kumar Mahanta

GUWAHATI, May 24: The Axom Andolan Sangrami Satirtha Mancha, an umbrella body of political and non-political organizations on Thursday, decided to garner support from lawmakers and various other organizations outside the State to mount pressure on the Centre to desist from making the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 a law.

Towards this end, the Mancha leaders will go to Delhi and meet each and every member of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha before commencement of the monsoon session of Parliament to apprise them about the hidden dangers of the Bill. The Mancha will also meet various other organizations and individuals in Delhi to generate public opinion against the Bill.

An emergency meeting of the Mancha held here on Thursday resolved to intensify its protest against the Bill by organizing various programmes. On May 30, the Mancha leaders will take out a padayatra from Ganesh Udyan at Ganeshguri to Raj Bhawan. They will submit a memorandum to the Governor Prof Jagadish Mukhi and urge him to voice against the Bill as it is “anti-constitutional and anti-Assam Accord”.

Former Assam Chief Minister and chief advisor of the Mancha Prafulla Kumar Mahanta told reporters here on Thursday that the passage of the Bill introduced by the Narendra Modi government will be a disaster for the identity and culture of the indigenous population in the state.

“We are demanding withdrawal of the Bill as Assam will bear the maximum brunt of illegal migrants, especially Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, if it is passed. In the Assam Accord, we agreed to accept migrants from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) who entered the state till March 24, 1971. We can’t accept the Bill as it seeks to give citizenship on religious lines,” said Mahanta, who was one of the signatories of the Accord.

Accusing a section of politicians of trying to create a communal atmosphere in the State on pretext of the Bill, Mahanta said there is nothing wrong in opposing the Bill as even former Tripura Chief Minister and present Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have also opposed the proposed legislation.

“We have met many Hindu minorities in Bangladesh and they told us that they are safe in the neighboring country. So where is the necessity of bringing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill?” Mahanta said, while laying emphasis on effective bilateral talks between India and Bangladesh to solve the problem of illegal immigration.

Mahanta, while alleging that the Centre has not come forward for proper implementation of the Assam Accord, appealed to the AASU to take the lead by uniting maximum number of organizations in protesting the Bill.

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Ankur Kalita