Assam was originally a part of Myanmar: Kapil Sibal’s Statement to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has directed the central government to provide the information of the migrants who illegally entered Assam and North Eastern states after March 25, 1971.

The Supreme Court’s directive is part of a comprehensive review process related to the controversial Section 6A, which has sparked heated debates among various groups in Assam.

Notably, on Tuesday (December 5), a top court headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and comprising a five-judge constitution bench began proceedings to address multiple petitions challenging the validity of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

This section, related to the implementation of the Assam Agreement, permits the granting of Indian citizenship to certain foreign immigrants who entered between January 1, 1966, and March 25, 1971.

In the hearing related to this case, senior advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the respondents. In this context, he emphasized the complexity of tracing population movements throughout history.

He highlighted the historical evolution of Assam as a part of Myanmar under British rule and its subsequent association with East Bengal after partition.

“Immigration is embedded in population and history. It cannot be explained specifically. If you look at the history of Assam, you will understand that it is impossible to find out who came when,” he said during the hearing.

“Assam was originally a part of Myanmar. Assam was handed over to the British in 1824 after the British annexed part of the territory. You can imagine the movement of people that might have taken place during the then British Empire,” he said.

The crux of this dispute revolves around the perception of indigenous groups in Assam. Arguing that Section 6A has legalized the entry of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Sibal said it would significantly affect the demographic and cultural makeup of the state.

A Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Chandrachud and comprising Justices AS Bopanna, MM Sundresh, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Mishra is responsible for examining the constitutional validity of Section 6A.

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