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Won’t accept Bill costing Accord: AASU

From a Correspondent
NEW DELHI, July 3: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on Tuesday said in New Delhi that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 violates the Assam Accord.

“The accord clearly laid out the principle that all the Bangladeshis are to be detected irrespective of their religion,” said AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath.

A three-member AASU team comprising Dipanka Kumar Nath, general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi and advisor-in-chief Samujjal Bhattacharya was addressing a press conference at Press Club of India.

The AASU demands total withdrawal of the Bill. “The present Union Government has introduced a patently communal Bill to frustrate the process of preparing the updated NRC. The Union Government wants to keep the names of the Hindu Bangladeshis in the NRC being updated to fulfill their communal design. The AASU makes it very clear that Assam will never accept the communal and unconstitutional Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 at the cost of the Assam Accord,” said Dipanka.

Asserting that Assam is not a dumping ground, the AASU trio urged New Delhi to implement the 1985 Assam Accord that bars illegal immigrants from enjoying citizenship rights, irrespective of their faith, in the border State.

The AASU leaders said that in the Assam Accord both the governments promised to provide constitutional safeguards to the people of Assam for retaining the burden of the pre-1971 entrants. “The government of India has not moved towards the constitutional provisions. The committee should be revived with the members from the signatories of the Assam Accord. The Government of Assam is also not taking steps in this regard,” said Bhattacharya.

“Assam is not a dumping ground for illegal immigrants. All our borders and lands have been encroached upon by illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and today the demography of Assam has changed. We’ve become a minority on our own motherland and have been taking this burden since 1971,” said Bhattacharya.

Holding previous governments responsible for the delay in updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Lurinjyothi Gogoi said that the NRC was prepared in 1951, “but has not been updated by the past governments for their vote-bank politics.”