'No new Hindu migrants to benefit from Citizenship Act'

"We want to make it clear that not a single Hindu Bangladeshi can enter Assam or get rehabilitated through the Citizenship Amendment Act," said Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in an appeal.

Visibly worried over a claim by a Bangladesh-based organisation that 2.5 crore Hindus are ready to migrate to India, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday assured that not a single newly migrated Hindu would be given citizenship through the amended citizenship law.

"We want to make it clear that not a single Hindu Bangladeshi can enter Assam or get rehabilitated through the Citizenship Amendment Act. Only those who are living among us for decades, can apply for citizenship. The number of persons who will be able to apply for citizenship through this amendment will be negligible," Sonowal said in a public appeal issued on Sunday morning.

Reacting to Sonowal's claim, advisor of the influential All Assam Students' Union (AASU) Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya said that not a single post-1971 migrant from Bangladesh would be accepted in Assam.

"If they are aware that the number is negligible, let them request Narendra Modi to settle the foreigners in Gujarat. Assam accepted foreigners who had migrated between 1951 and 1971. We can't take more burden of foreigners," he said.

Sonowal claimed that the migrants living for decades cannot hamper language, culture and unity of Assam.

"Neither can they take away our land, nor our political rights. I want to assure this with confidence as a chief minister," said the appeal.

Assam and the parts of the Northeast erupted in protest on Wednesday after the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in the Parliament.

Indigenous people fear that the amendment would reduce them into a minority as it seeks to allow "persecuted migrants" from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan such as Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs.

Two days after the Bill was passed, Govinda Chandra Pramanik, leader of a Hindu organisation in Dhaka, told Bangladesh-based reporters that 2.5 crore Hindus from the neighbouring country could migrate to India with the hope of getting citizenship.

"The amended citizenship law in India has come as a hope for the Hindus and other minorities here," he claimed.

Death toll goes up

Two youths, Iswar Nayak and Abdul Alim, who sustained bullet injuries during police action on protesters in Guwahati on Wednesday died at Guwahati Medical College and Hospital on Sunday.

This took the death toll to six. Eight more bullet-hit people are still in the hospital.

Curfew was eased for eight hours in Guwahati and five other districts during the day time for the second day on Sunday but was reimposed at 6 pm.

Ban on Internet was still on.

Drivers of the App-based taxis such as Uber and Ola staged a protest in Guwahati on Sunday demanding restoration of Internet immediately.

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