Matiur Rahman in Guwahati on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, May 18: Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, a confederation of indigenous people of Assam, today asked the organisations and individuals who have been criticising it to restrain themselves or face defamation cases.
The Mahasangha, along with NDFB (Progressive), Indigenous Peoples Tribal Front, Sodou Asom Ahom Sabha, family members of those who were killed or faced atrocity during the Assam Movement, and eight persons have been fighting a legal battle in the Supreme Court challenging Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, an outcome of the Assam Movement.
The matter has been referred to a five-member constitution bench, which is likely to hear the case from July.
“By challenging Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, we are seeking justice for the indigenous people of Assam. For this, various organisations, political parties and individuals have been criticising us. We request them to restrain themselves or we will file defamation cases against them,” said the Mahasangha.
The Congress recently told reporters that those who had challenged the Assam Accord were trying to create anarchy in Assam. People of Assam had unanimously accepted 1971 as the cut-off year for detection and deportation of foreigners from Assam, the party said.
The All Assam Students’ Union, too, criticised the Mahasangha for challenging the Accord.
Talking to reporters, the working president of Mahasangha, Matiur Rahman, said they had suggested three documents as proof of citizenship – the National Register of Citizens, 1951, the voter lists of 1952 and land documents before 1951 in the Supreme Court.
Rahman said while the cut-off date for the entire country is 1951, it is unconstitutional to make it 1971 for Assam.