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Assam pacifies protesters on Citizenship Bill

Assam pacifies protesters on Citizenship Bill

"Apart from Assam, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 poses a grave threat to other northeastern states".

They gathered at Lakhiram Barua Sadan at Dighalipukhuri, talked about possible adverse impacts of the bill on Assam, sang songs to inspire people to oppose the bill, put up cartoons of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state BJP leaders on the bill issue and sang the state anthem O mor aponar dex.

Stating that the Committee has visited states like Rajasthan and Gujarat, he added that the panel may think of visiting more states in the North East since there are requests to even visit other states for seeking views from the people The Committee will submit its report to the Lok Sabha speaker. The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, a peasants' rights group, and the AGP on Sunday organised signature campaigns against the bill in different parts of the state.

Protests were staged against the Bill in front of the venue where the JPC hearing was held here as people feared that it would breach the clauses of the Assam Accord.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill overrides the provisions of Assam Accord which was signed by the Rajiv Gandhi government with the All Assam Students' Union in 1985 at the end of bloody six-year-long anti-foreigners' agitation.

Assam Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary addressed a press conference and said that there is nothing to panic as the Government is not going to take any decision which is detrimental to the interest of the State.

He also appealed for peace and said there is no need for people to get agitated as the process for the JPC to take their opinion is still on.

In order to placate the people of the state, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said he had no reason to continue on his post if he could not protect the interest of the people of the state. "We will not take any decision that goes against the people of Assam", Sonowal told media persons here.

"When I had got the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act repealed, no JPC had come then".

The Committee which is on a two-day visit to Shillong to take views and suggestions from the stakeholders on the Bill met eight organisations and two individuals on Thursday. As per the Accord, the immigrants, irrespective of faith who entered Assam after March 24, 1971, will be detected and deported.

Peter said that the Bill is a conspiracy to wipe out the indigenous peoples of the whole North East region who belong to the Mongoloid stock.

Slamming the Congress for showing double standard, Patowary said while Congress leaders in Guwahati are opposing the bill, its leaders in Bengali-dominated Barak Valley are supporting it.

Many senior Congress leaders not only defied the party line but also made provocative statements in support of the bill.

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