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Cong holds rally to oppose Citizenship Bill
Staff Correspondent
 DIBRUGARH, May 23 - The Indian National Congress (INC) today organised two huge rallies here and in Tinsukia town simultaneously to register its protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The rally was followed with a protest march from Rajiv Bhawan to the office of the Deputy Commissioner. The protest march was led by Dibrugarh District Congress Committee (DDCC) president and former Minister Atuwa Munda and former Minister Pranati Phukan. In Tinsukia, the rally was led by Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha president and former Union Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, former Minister Prithibi Majhi and Tinsukia District Congress Committee president Jayanta Kalita. The Congress party submitted a memorandum to the Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) through the local administration at their respective areas.

In a memorandum addressed to Rajendra Agarwal, Chairman, Joint Parliamentary Committee, the Congress said that the proposed amendments will defeat the very purpose of the NRC.

The Congress further said that after the Assam Accord the people of Assam irrespective of caste, creed, community and religion have been living in peace and harmony. But unfortunately, after this proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, distrust and division have created among different sections of people and community. Moreover, the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 is ill conceived and against the basic principles of the Constitution of India. Further, the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 is going to destroy the basic principle of the State Re-organization Act 1956, which was enacted on the recommendations of the state Re-Organization Commission of 1953, constituted by Government of India under which states were created on linguistic basis. There is a serious apprehension in Assam that the cultural, political and social identity of the people of Assam is in grave danger due to heavy influx of illegal migrants, the memorandum stated.

Reminding about the Assam Agitation period, the Congress said Assam had been passing through a very turbulent period from 1979 to 1985 due to agitation in the state, when thousands of people including large number of Congressmen were maimed and martyred. The Assam Agitation was led by the All Assam Students Union (AASU) and All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) to drive out the Bangladeshi intruders from Assam. These intruders had encroached Assam after partition of India and during Bangladesh war of 1971. The historic Assam Accord of 1985 brought to an end the long agitation and sufferings of the people. The Assam Accord 1985 brought peace and harmony to Assam, which was accepted by all sections of society, including all political parties. Now, the proposed amendment has created anxiety and strong resentment among all sections of the society, the Congress stated in the memorandum.

Later addressing newsmen, Munda said that Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, whose main slogan during the last Assembly election was ‘protecting jati, mati and bheti’ must prove that he is truthful and committed. “If Sarbananda Sonowal can approach the BJP leadership and get the amendment withdrawn, he will truly remain a Jatiya Nayak,” said Munda.

The Left organisations also organised a similar protest march in the city here. The protest march was organised from Chowkidinghee to Thana Chariali. Those taking part in the march included members from CITU, INTUC, Sadou Asom Gramin Shramik Sanstha, Assam Sangrami Chah Shramik Sangha, Nikhil Bharat Gonotantrik Mahila Sammittee, Nikhil Bharat Krishak Sabha and Natun Sahitya Parishad.

Rangiya Correspondent adds: Congress party workers today took out a protest rally and ghareaod the circle officer of Rangiya in protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Party leaders, including former Congress MP of Mangaldai, Madhab Rajbongshi, former MLA of Congress, Ghanashyam Kalita also took part in the protest rally. Protestors shouted slogans against the BJP-led government. Later, a memorandum was submitted to the JPC Chairman through the Circle Officer of Rangiya.

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