“Assam will burn if they continue to push the bill,” Chetia said. “If the bill is passed in Parliament, the situation will worsen and the recruitment for ULFA(I), the ant-talk faction, will increase,” Chetia said.
The bill which is pending with the Joint Parliamentary Committee would pave way for granting citizenship to persecuted minority communities, such as Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists, from neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
It is being opposed by indigenous groups in Assam as they said it was against the 1985 Assam Accord, which empowered authorities to identify and deport illegal immigrants.
Chetia, who has been engaged in talks after he was extradited from Bangladesh and released on bail, said killings of five people of Bengali community in Tinsukia on Thursday night, was unfortunate. “Poor people have been targeted,” he said.
The police had blamed the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) faction for the attack even as the banned outfit denied its role in the killings. Chetia put the blame on provocative statements by “vested interests and political leaders”, including BJP MLA Shiladitya Deb, for vitiating the atmosphere of the state.
Pro-talk ULFA leaders like Mrinal Hazarika and Jiten Dutta, who have been making provocative statements and were arrested on Friday, have also been accused of disturbing peace in the state. “They may have made provocative statements but they are not involved in the incident. We have laid down arms,” Chetia said.