Sonowal lists Hindu migrants district-wise

GUWAHATI: Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday gave a district-wise break-up of “less than 2 lakh Bengali Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh” who would be eligible for Indian nationality under the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act.
Seeking to allay fears that Assam would bear the brunt of a fresh influx of immigrants from Bangladesh if and when the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill becomes a law, Sonowal said 1.5 lakh Bengali Hindu immigrants living in the three districts of Barak Valley — Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi — constitute the largest group of beneficiaries.
“The fear that the amendment bill will trigger continuous influx from Bangladesh is baseless. There is a cut-off date: December 31, 2014. Nobody who has entered the state after this date will be allowed,” Sonowal said. “Misinformation is being spread that a huge number of Bengali Hindu migrants from Bangladesh will be given citizenship.”
According to the findings of a survey by BJP, the second largest chunk of immigrants eligible for citizenship would be “about 24,000 in Bengali Muslim-majority Barpeta district“.
The chief minister said there were about 8,000 more Bengali Hindu immigrants eligible for citizenship in Kokarjhar district, 7,000 in Golaghat, 6,000 in Baksa, about 1,000 each in Nalbari and Charaideo districts, and close to 300 of them in the river island of Majuli, his constituency.
“We are very transparent in our work. In Nalbari district, which has 8 lakh people, there are just about 1,000 such people (Bengali Hindu immigrants) who would be eligible to apply for citizenship,” Sonowal said.
The CM, a former student leader, had said on Sunday that activists of the All Assam Students Union (Aasu) were wasting their time protesting against the citizenship bill. On Monday, he claimed BJP had always been clear about where it stood on this issue.
“There is no need for anyone to worry. We are taking all possible measures to protect the identity, language and culture of Assam’s indigenous people,” Sonowal said. “Since the birth of BJP, it has been the party’s commitment to bring this bill, and we have expressed it clearly in every election manifesto. There is a fear psychosis in Assam because of misinformation.”

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