Continuing the movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), activists of the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) staged a sit-in at the Dispur Last Gate area, a few hundred metres from the Assam Assembly which also witnessed a ruckus over the Act on Monday.
A daylong special session of the Assembly was held on Monday to ratify a constitutional amendment to extend the reservation for Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste communities.
AJYCP general secretary Palash Changmai said: “Today, a special session of the Assembly was held, but sadly, the government did not discuss the CAA which is the most important issue of the day. Instead of addressing the primary issues and concerns of the indigenous people of the state, the government is continuing with its own agenda.”
The organisation demanded the Assembly take a resolution against the CAA and in support of the inner-line permit (ILP) in the state.
Changmai said by ignoring the people’s sentiments, the Centre had been adamant in enforcing CAA. “The government did not even wait for the Supreme Court hearing on January 22. It proves that the Centre is totally against democracy. But we will continue our peaceful and democratic movement against CAA,” he added.
The AJYCP was joined by members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the artiste community.
Participating in the protests, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya said: “The government is trying to justify their move by saying that they will implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. But they have forgotten that Clause 6 was provided to the people of the state for absorbing illegal migrants till 1971. It cannot be equated with the CAA that will make Hindu Bangladeshis, who came to Assam till 2014 December, Indians.”
Bhattacharjya, who is a member of the committee for Clause 6 implementation, skipped Monday’s meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah as a mark of protest for enforcing the CAA. However, several other members attended the meeting in New Delhi.
The Union home ministry reconstituted the high-level committee to implement Clause 6 in July after the first one was dissolved when the committee members refused to be parts of it in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in January last year.
The committee was asked to assess and make recommendations for safeguarding legal and constitutional rights of the indigenous people of the state.
Popular Assamese actress Barsha Rani Bishaya, who also joined the protest, said: “If Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah say that they will not move an inch against the CAA, we also want them to know that the people of Assam will also not budge an inch from their stand. We do not accept this law and will never do so. We hope the Supreme Court will give us justice.”