Bhubaneswar, Dec 11 (LocalWire) The parliament’s accordance of nod to the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (CAB) has triggered jubilation in Odisha’s coastal pockets, contrary to outbreak of violent public protests in North Eastern states.
The Bengali-speaking settlers, some of them were earlier branded as Bangladeshis were ecstatic as news flashed though the television channels that both the houses of Parliament has stamped its approval to the bill by majority votes.
The settlers are living in seaside villages of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak and Balasore district.
It’s a momentous and historic moment.
The passage of the bill is a prelude to enactment of law., Bijoy Shukla, a former Sarpanch of Ramnagar gram panchayat in Kendrapara district said.
It has instilled a sense of security among the Bengali settlers who are were living under constant fear of being branded as Bangldeshis and driven out of the country, he added.
As many as 1551 people here were officially tagged as Bangladeshis and were served quit India notice being asked to pack their bags in 2005.
Since then, an unknown fear persisted of being branded as foreign national in this region, which is mostly to migrant settlers from neighbouring West Bengal.
Now the worst fear is over thanks to the passage of the historic bill that confers the grant of Indian citizenship rights to Hindus who had migrated to India before December 31, 2004, said another ex-Sarpanch, Narayan Haldar.
Similar joyous moods were witnessed in Ambiki gram panchayat in neighbouring Jagatsinghpur district.
The Bengali speaking people are bona fide citizens of the country.
They were being often clubbed as Bangladeshis because of common language with people of the neighbouring country.
It’s a huge sigh of relief for us. Some people here have been enumerated as Bangladeshis though they were not served quit India notice, remarked Pranabndhu Mandal of Ambiki village with a tinge of joy.
We all are feeling relieved. We are proud Indians. Nobody could now raise question on our domicile status and nationality, he said.
The union government’s record-books say Odisha is home to 3,987 Bangladeshis infiltrators.
However several lakhs Bengali-speaking migrant people are firmly ensconced in several parts of the State.
The passage of the bill has brought cup joy for all of them.
(Ashish Senapati contributed to this report)