The recently enacted Citizenship Amendment Act will adversely impact people of Assam and the northeast, an association representing the Assamese community in North America said.
In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Assam Association of North America urged that the Assam Accord of 1985 be implemented in its entirety, where it should prevail over the Act in case of any conflict.
“The recent passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, causes us concern that it will adversely impact the people of Assam and the northeast,” said the association in its letter, dated December 14.
“We see this Act as a threat to the integrity and unabridged continuity of language, culture, demographics and economic wellbeing of the indigenous population of Assam and the northeast,” the letter read.
To address the concerns, the AANA urged the prime minister to implement the 1985 Assam Accord in its entirety with the cut-off date of March 24, 1971 without further delay, and with an expedited date of completion.
“In case of any conflict between the CAA and the Assam Accord, the Assam Accord must prevail in order to ensure primacy in the public interest of the indigenous population of Assam,” it said.
The AANA also urged the prime minister to update the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) released on August 31, 2019, with corrections necessary to enable full and complete implementation of the accord.
“While granting citizenship and settling refugees, take necessary steps to protect and preserve the cultural, social and linguistic identity of the indigenous people of Assam,” the letter said.