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Open meeting held to discuss Citizenship Bill, NRC

Our Correspondent
MANGALDAI, June 24: Raijmel or an open public meeting, organized by the management of Dainik Janambhumi, in collaboration with Darrang Zila Sahitya Sabha at the Sahitya Sabha Bhavan in Mangaldai on Saturday, vehemently opposed the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and also demanded not to make any delay in publishing the final draft of the NRC as scheduled on June 30.

The meeting, attended by representatives of more than 20 non-political public bodies including AJYCP, AASU, Senior Citizen Forum , Karmachari Parishad, Bengali Yuva Chatra Federation, Goria-Moria Deshi Jatiya Parishad, Krishak Sanggha, Lekhika Samaroh, Lekhika Sanstha, Mangaldai Chambers of Commerce and Mangaldai Media Circle, termed the proposed Citizenship Bill as a fatal bill for Assamese culture and language and passed unanimous resolution against it. The meet also passed resolution demanding the State NRC authority not to delay publishing the final draft of NRC on any pretext, including flood in a few districts, and to ensure its publication on June 30, the scheduled date announced by the apex court earlier.

The meeting presided over by Dr Ram Chandra Deka, president of Darrang Zila Sahitya Sabha, was addressed by several veteran and young speakers, including Dr Nagendra Nath Sarma, Phulendra Nath Saharia, Dr Jamaluddin Ahmed, Lohit Ch Kalita, Bhabesh Kalita and Khanindra Rajbongshi. Dr Nagendra Nath Sarma, a veteran educationist, writer, thinker and the president of All Assam Ex MLA Sanmilani, in his discussion underlined how the small population of around 30,000 Hindus had been facing torture and they had been forced to wear only yellow clothes for their identification. He expressed doubt whether the Centre would bow down before the protest of about one crore people of Assam.

Strongly criticizing the role of all the 20 MPs, both of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha representing the State, Dr Sarma at the same time suggested the people to put pressure on them for inclusion of a special provision in the Bill so that even if the Bill was passed, Assam and the Northeast would not have to bear the burden of the non-Muslim refugees.

The speakers also discussed many other issues like the average percentage of Assamese speaking people in the State recorded in the last census as nearly 48 and its downward trend in each subsequent census. On the other hand, the increase of average Bengali-speaking people from 21 per cent to 27 per cent in last two census, negligence to the official language even in the public signboards of the Deputy Commissioners’ offices in the districts of Barak Valley, issue of work permits for the people whose names will not be included in the NRC, maintaining peace, harmony and brotherhood among all the communities and religions living in the State like before and developing work culture among the Assamese people. All the speakers equally criticized both the BJP and the Congress parties, alleging them of playing with the sentiments of the people of the State only for their political gain. The meet began with the welcome address by Mukut Ch Hazarika, secretary of Darrang Zila Sahitya Sabha.

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