Hundreds of senior citizens across Assam stepped out of their homes on Monday to lend their voices to the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in response to a call by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and 30 other organisations. Tea tribes, literary organisations, women, artistes, academicians and student leaders also continued to voice their opposition to the law.
In Tinsukia town, senior citizens joined a three-hour protest from 11am near Thana Chariali at Dr Bhupen Hazarika Smriti Parishar and at Tirap mouza Dihing-Patkai Samanvya Kshetra’s Chukafa Rangamancha on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
Maya Barua, 73, said, “Our agitation is very peaceful and democratic. We will not accept CAA at any cost. It has to go.”
At another protest in Tinsukia district, hundreds of women, sporting gamosas, gathered at North Margherita Rangamancha. They resolved to fight CAA and raised slogans like “Joi Aai Axom (glory to mother Assam)” and “CAA aami namanu (I will not accept CAA0”.
The Congress’s Jana Jagaran Yatra, which commenced at Sadiya town on Sunday, reached Tinsukia town on Monday and will proceed to Dhubri on Tuesday.
In Tinsukia town, PCC president Ripun Bora said, “The Congress is always with the people of Assam and against enforcement of CAA.”
Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia, former ministers Rakibul Hussain and Prithivi Majhi, Doomdooma MLA Durga Bhumij, Tinsukia district Congress president Jayant Kalita and former Chabua MLA Raju Sahu, among others, were present.
The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) will organise Gana Samavesh in Tinsukia town on December 26.
AATSA protest: In Dibrugarh district, tea garden workers took to the streets in response to a call by the Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association (ATTSA) and the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS).
Former DoNER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, Majhi and AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi addressed a huge gathering of tea workers at Chawalkhowa playground, 7km from Dibrugarh.
The Bir Lachit Sena and Asom Sahitya Sabha organised a mass protest at Barbaruah playground, 10km from the town. The Sena’s organising secretary Sringkhol Chaliha was detained after his “provocative speech” at the rally. However, Dibrugarh SP Sreejith T. said he was detained in another case and would be handed over to Guwahati police.
The AASU has called a huge protest rally at Chowkidinghee playground in Dibrugarh on Tuesday.
Udalguri protest: At Tangla town in Udalguri district in lower Assam, senior citizens, academicians, artistes and student leaders joined an AASU-organised protest. The protesters held placards and raised slogans such as “We will give blood but not accept CAA”. Sexagenarian Prafulla Baruah recited a self-composed protest poem.
Senior citizen Dipak Talukdar said, “We will try our best to protect the rights of the people and pass on a healthy society to the next generation by fighting against the law till our last breath.”
Assamese short story writer Jayanta Kumar Chakravorty said, “The people will never accept a law which is detrimental to the Assam Accord.
Debajit Mazumdar and Sharmistha Chakraborty from the Assam cinema industry were there too.
AASU’s Tangla chapter president Pranjal Deka said, “We have committed a grave sin by bringing the saffron party to power and as salvation, people must oust the government in the 2021 Assembly polls.”
AASU assistant general secretary Jayanta Kumar Bhattacharya said, “The BJP leaders of Assam are not the guardians of Assamese people to forcefully impose an act which is detrimental to the indigenous people.'