Citizenship bill: 42 organizations call for Assam bandh on Oct 23

As many as 42 various organizations have called for a 12-hour Assam bandh on October 23 opposing against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, which proposes to give citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from neighbouring countries.

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), a peasant’s body and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chahtra Parishad (AJYCP), a students’ body organized a public meeting to build consensus against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, on Saturday where representatives of these 42 organizations participated.

“We are in a crisis. The future of the people of the state is in dark because of the conspiracy of the BJP-led governments at the centre and state under the influence of RSS. We can’t accept the passing of citizenship bill at any cost. It will disturb the social pattern. Though we don’t want but we are forced to call the bandh to send a strong message to the Centre,” KMSS advisor Akhil Gogoi said addressing a press conference.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was tabled in the parliament in 2016, seeks to provide citizenship to minorities (non-Muslims) from neighbouring countries who have come to India till December 31, 2014. Later it was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) for review after strong opposition in the house.

The organizations have also demanded the JPC members to come to Assam once again to get the public reaction against the bill as soon as possible. On October 23, the JPC members are scheduled to meet the officials of the ministry of home and external affairs in New Delhi.

“The JPC had promised to come here again. So, they must come here to take the views of the local people here. It’s a dreaded conspiracy against the people of Assam,” Gogoi added.

Earlier this year, the JPC members visited Assam and accepted reactions from various organizations and individuals. Though organizations at the Brahmaputra valley had opposed the bill, many in the Barak Valley voiced for the bill.

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