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Sonowal urges peace after JPC's visit to Assam

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

Days after the (JPC) on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill visited to solicit views from stakeholders, today urged people to maintain peace and said his government would always work in their interest.

The Bill was proposed by the Centre to make illegal migrants of six communities eligible for citizenship of

The 16-member headed by had visited the state from May 7 to May 9 to elicit views from stakeholders on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.

A key amendment in the Bill seeks to grant citizenship to people without valid documents from six minority communities -- Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians -- from Afghanistan, and after six years of residence in

"People should not get agitated as the process for taking their opinion is on. We will not take any decision that goes against the people of Assam," told here.

"I appeal to all to maintain peace so that unwanted situations do not develop in the state. I urge all to help and cooperate as we the people of are collectively responsible for ensuring peace and order in the state," said.

He said the had hinted that the committee would return to to take the people's opinion on the Bill.

"The people should, however, continue to express their opinion and speak their mind to the JPC through e-mail," Sonowal said.

The said that before the JPC's visit, it was alleged that he was not allowing it to come to Assam.

"When I got the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act repealed, no JPC had come then. This time people have been given top priority," he said.

Protests were staged against the Bill in front of the venue where the JPC hearing was held as people feared that it would breach the clauses of the Assam Accord.

The Accord states that all illegal foreigners from who had settled in Assam after March 25, 1971 would have to be deported irrespective of religion.

In the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley, a majority of the 315 opinions submitted to the JPC were in favour of the Bill, and people carrying placards formed a long human chain in its support.

Leaders of the ruling BJP and the Opposition supported the Bill, even as their counterparts had opposed it in the

Following the JPC hearings, protests had broken out in the against the Bill.

Students organisations like AASU, AJYCP, ruling alliance partner AGP and the pro-talk ULFA faction organised mass agitational programmes.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 12 2018. 20:50 IST