All Assam Students’ Union on fast in Dhemaji
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) launched a 30-hour hunger strike against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Dhemaji district from 8am on Saturday.
AASU activists held placards and banners and raised slogans against the BJP-led government as they sat on a fast at Court Field in Dibrugarh town.
Speaking at the gathering, former principal of Dhemaji College Budin Baruah said, “We will not allow the CAA, which is unconstitutional, anti-Assamese and anti-people, to be implemented in Assam. We will continue our peaceful and democratic protest against the Act. The BJP has been forcefully trying to implement the Act in Assam for political benefits.”
Chittaranjan Basumatary, central committee vice-president of AASU, which has been spearheading the anti-CAA movement in the state, said, “Assam is not a dumping ground for illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. We will continue our anti-CAA movement in a democratic way till the Act is scrapped. The BJP government is trying to forcefully impose CAA in Assam though it is against the people of the state. We have made it crystal clear that we will not accept any foreigner who entered the state after 1971, be it Hindu or Muslim. The CAA is against the spirit of the 1985 Assam Accord.”
The Assam Accord sets the midnight of March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date to detect and deport “foreigners” while the CAA allows Indian citizenship to illegal immigrants belonging to six non-Muslim communities who fled three neighbouring Islamic countries because of religious persecution and entered India before 2015.
Basumatary said, “We have organised the 30-hour hunger strike following a month’s protest against the CAA. AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi will join the programme on Sunday.”
He said the AASU has also lined up several anti-CAA programmes across Assam next month, beginning with a motorcycle rally on March 3 and 4.
The AASU’s Dhemaji district president Deepak Sharma said, “The BJP government, led by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, betrayed us but we will not let the Act be enforced in Assam as it is undemocratic and unsecular and hence against the Constitution. It will create chaos in society. The BJP is imposing the CAA in Assam without the consent of the people and it will destroy the existence of the indigenous Assamese people.”
Black flags: The AASU’s Teok regional unit showed black flags to a convoy of AGP president and agriculture minister Atul Bora on Saturday afternoon. An argument broke out with AGP workers near Lakshmi Puja field at Jagduar. Bora had come to join a party meeting when AASU showed black flags and raised anti-CAA slogans.
AASU’s Teok regional unit president Rantu Bhuyan said they had protested in a democratic and peaceful manner by showing black flags.
The meeting was presided over by AGP Jorhat district president Chakra Baruah.
On Thursday, seven AASU members were detained by police for showing black flags to state BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass at Chabua in Dibrugarh district.
Additional reporting by Devajit Baruah in Jorhat