Exempt Assam from amended Citizenship Act, demands Gorkhas
GUWAHATI | December 22, 2019:
Major civil society organisations of Gorkhas in Assam on Saturday demanded that the state be exempt from the purview of the contentious citizenship law and that the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord be implemented immediately.
As per the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, the "constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people."
Bhaskar Dahal, General Secretary of Assam Gorkha Sammelan, said, "The Citizenship Amended Act will invite threat to the indigenous Gorkhas of Assam as a constituent community of greater Assamese community," Assam Gorkha Sammelan General Secretary Bhaskar Dahal said.
If the state is not exempted from the Act, "it will change the demography of Assam but will adversely affect the official Assamese language, communities' cultural assimilation, art and literature," he said.
The new settlers would challenge constitutional protection of the indigenous people as committed in the Assam Accord, Dahal said.
Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha General Secretary Prakash Dahal said the Gorkhas participated in the anti-citizenship law agitation spontaneously since it began on December 11.
He also expressed support to the movement demanding early implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord.
Prakash Dahal said several Gorkha youths laid down their lives during the six-year Assam Movement that culminated in the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985.
Bhaskar Dahal said, "Any attempt to dilute our (Gorkha's) indigenous identity will not be tolerated."