We strongly against the citizenship ammendment Bill 2016
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As citizens of this country we register our deep anxiety and distress at the proposed amendment of the Citizenship Act under consideration of the Joint Select Committee of Parliament. Whatever humanitarian consideration prompted the proposed amendment granting citizenship to persons belonging to minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it is going to be highly inimical to the indigenous people of Assam and to the federal structure of the state.
At the moment, based on Assam Accord, at the intervention of the Supreme Court of India and on the instruction of the Central government, the Government of Assam is engaged in intensive updating of the National Register for Citizens (NRC) to include people permanently residing in the state till 24th March 1971 and to treat them alone as genuine citizens of the country.
The present attempt of the Central Government to extend citizenship beyond the cutoff date of 24th March, 1971 is not acceptable to the people of Assam. The state of Assam is already overburdened with high influx of foreign nationals from Bangladesh, causing serious economic and social distress and identity crisis for the indigenous communities of Assam. Under these circumstances, the proposed amendment poses an existential threat to the existing indigenous communities.
In view of the above, we request you to withdraw the proposed amendment, or at the very least to exempt the state of Assam from the purview of the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act.
Further, we request you to permit the people of Assam to submit their views in their own mother language in view of the fact that neither English nor Hindi is widely known among the indigenous communities of Assam.
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