GUWAHATI, May 14: While heavily opposing the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 the Indigenous Tribal Sahitya Sabha, Assam (ITSSA) while talking to The Sentinel on Monday stressed that the ethnic communities having listed in the 1951 NRC are all indigenous. The ITSSA further emphasized that the residents of Assam between the periods from 1951 to 1971 are Indian citizen without an iota of doubt.
The apex body, a conglomeration of the indigenous tribal sahitya sabhas of Assam has expressed their surprise after knowing about the notification of the September 7, 2015 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, whereby it was declared to grant citizenship in India to all the non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan who had entered India on or before December 31, 2014 on the ground of religious persecution or fear of religious expression. The ITSSA further revealed that they had also raised strong opposition on earlier occasion by submitting a memorandum to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister against the Bill. They had also submitted a memorandum to the then Chairman of the Joint parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 Dr Satyapal Singh on September 29, 2016. The ITSSA secretary general Kamal Kr Mushahary said, “We again reiterate our strong opposition against the acceptance of the bill. We hope that the JPC will take a positive role for the greater interest of the safety, security and preservation of the language, literature, culture, heritage and tradition of the indigenous tribal and other indigenous people of Assam.”