JAC to launch joint movement for Hindu refugees

SILCHAR, June 14: The Joint Action Committee for Bengali Refugees (JACBR) will meet at Guwahati on June 21 to discuss the issue of Bengali refugees and resolve a joint action plan with other likeminded organizations fighting for the cause. At a joint press-meet with All Cachar-Karimganj-Hailakandi Students’ Association (ACKHSA), here, Beni Madhab Roy, chief advisor, Sara Assam Bengali Yuva Chatra Federation (SABYCF), and Mangal Krishna Das, general secretary, along with other members said in order to carry forward the fight for the cause of Hindu Bengalis, the greatest ever meet of the refugee organizations of Assam, West Bengal and other parts of the country has been planned on June 21 next. Beni Madhab Roy said such a joint meeting has been necessitated due to the emerging situation and various factors which have become a cause of worry for the refugees in the light of the ongoing updation of NRC.
The issue involved is serious and complicated and needs comprehensive discussions. Clarifying Roy pointed out the cutoff date as laid down in the 6A clause of the 2003 Citizenship (revised) Act has been March 25, 1971 which is different from other states. It is 1950. Various organizations of the indigenous people of Assam have pressed for 1950 as cutoff date. A case vide 274 of 2009 has been filed by them in this connection in the Supreme Court and the case is pending before it.
He also referred to the WP (civil) 243 of 2012 filed by NGO Swajan, demanding citizenship to the Hindu Bengalis. The judgment of the Supreme Court will be binding on all. Besides strengthening the movement for the citizenship of Bengalis refugees, JAC has decided to go for legal contest on the issue taking under its umbrella similar organizations of other states. Accordingly, JAC filed a case no. WP (civil) 916 of 2014. It has been framed to extend citizenship right to Buddhists and Christians who have to migrate to India due to atrocities on them in Bangladesh. The next date of hearing has been fixed for August 4, 2015.
After preliminary hearing, the Supreme Court came out with two interim judgments. The case filed by them has been tagged with the writ petition of Swajan. As directed by the highest court, the Union Home Ministry, Law Ministry and Election Commission will have to submit affidavit before it. It is expected that the affidavit will be submitted on August 4 next.
Continuing Beni Madhab Roy said in order to make the case legally strong, JAC has brought in the relevant agreement between Nehru and Liaqat, assurances given by different national leaders after the partition of the country as well as the 1950 Act of Assam, providing safety and security to the refugees. Beni Madhab Roy has pointed out that unfortunately, the case filed by his organization has been caught in legal wrangling and political pressure. He is also aware of the disinformation campaign against JAC by vested organizations in order to create confusion among the people and blunt their fight for Bengali refugees.
The issue assumes significance in view of the ongoing updation of NRC. It is difficult for the refugees to produce 1971 voters’ list as demanded and other necessary documents. This has raised the apprehension that around 70 lakh refugees would lose citizenship right. The refugees are at cross-road and seized with fear of being declared stateless. In West Bengal and other states, refugees have no problem to enlist their name in voters’ list. The method of West Bengal should be followed in Assam also, he pleaded.
Considering the ramification of the issue, JAC has called upon the refugees to strengthen the movement for citizenship and also contribute their mite to the legal battle. Rupam Nandi Purkayastha, advisor, ACKHSA, has claimed that his organization was the first to demand 2014 as cutoff date for voters’ list. JAC leaders said a convention has also been called at Lumding on July 5 to give a concrete shape to the movement for protection of refugees. 20 other organization like Marwari Yuva Mancha, Gorkha Yuva Sanstha, All Dimasa Students’ Union, Bhojpuri Youth Union will participate in the convention. Lakhan Roy, Nagaon district president of SABYCF, Raju Das, state office secretary, ACKHSA leaders Biswajit Deb, Alok Dhar, Suman Das and Nabajit Paul were also present at the press-briefing. (Source: SentinelAssam)

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