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Citizens’ convention to move Assam govt on influx

Prabajan Virodhi Manch to press for measures before LS polls

GUWAHATI: A convention of conscious citizens of Assam will resolve to appeal to the state government to take up three clear-cut steps ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to protect indigenous communities from the “onslaught” of foreigner influx.

The convention is being held under the aegis of anti-influx organisation, Prabajan Virodhi Manch, at Latasil playground here from Saturday noon.

Manch convener and senior lawyer of the Supreme Court of India, Upamanyu Hazarika, who has taken the initiative to organise the convention, said on Thursday that “Bangladeshis per se are not Assam’s main problem but it is the failure of the elected leaders which is at the crux of issue.”

“For the state to prevent the indigenous population from becoming a minority with an increasing presence of foreigners, a legislation, just like the Manipur People Act, 2018 enacted by Manipur Assembly earlier this year, has to be enacted reserving land, government benefits and jobs, trade permits considering 1951 as the cut-off year,” Hazarika said.

“Secondly, in order to remove the discrepancies from the National Register of Citizens, a complete revision by striking off the names of all foreigners from the register becomes imperative,” he said.

Thirdly, the Manch convener said that no illegal migrant should be allowed to enter the state either by way of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 or any other way.

“The state government under the provisions of the law should take up these three measures before January 31, 2019, to not only check influx but prevent the indigenous people from becoming a minority in their own state. Therefore I invite all conscious citizens for a convention here to resolve to push the elected leaders to take up the measures,” Hazarika said.

The Manch said that representatives of indigenous groups from lower and central Assam would join the convention and share, with facts, their tribulations and bitter experiences brought about by the situation.

“We urge the conscious citizens to understand their problems and take part in the convention. The message must go to the leaders elected by indigenous people that their existence would depend on the fulfillment of the three demands before the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

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