Statehood sought for Assam’s Barak Valley

Statehood sought for Assam’s Barak Valley

News:

  1. As the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated to detect the illegal immigrants, some student organisations in southern Assam’s Barak Valley are advocating for separate statehood for the valley.

Important Facts:

  1. About Barak Valley: Barak Valley is comprised of three districts namely Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj and is majorly Bengali-dominated.

3. The divide between Bengali-majority Barak Valley and Assamese-majority Brahmaputra Valley has widened in recent times over issues such as NRC and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

4. Recently, The Assam Sahitya Sabha has said that a person must not get a state government job in Assam unless he or she knows Assamese.

5. This has raised fears in Barak valley where Bengali has been the official language since 1961.

6. Further the National Register of Citizens and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has created “sharp division” between linguistic groups in Assam.

7. About NRC:

  • The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the list of Indian citizens of Assam. It was prepared in 1951, following the census of 1951.
  • NRC updation was taken up in Assam as per a Supreme Court order in 2013 to wean out cases of illegal migration from Bangladesh and other adjoining areas.
  • NRC updation has been carried out under The Citizenship Act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord.
  1. About Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016:
  • The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.
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