People from all walks of life on Saturday took part in protests across Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
Nearly 8,000 people, mostly women, took part in a two-hour sit-in from 11am on National Highway 37 in front of the circle office at Rupai Siding, 2km from here.
Holding placards, they chanted slogans like “Asom sarkar huchiyar (Assam government beware), Nari Shakti zindabad (long live women power), Kheda oi kheda, bidekhi kheda” (Drive out foreigners), CAA aami na manu (I don’t accept CAA)” and “Ahomiya jagise (Assamese have awakened)”.
“CAA has been imposed forcefully upon us. We condemn the Act. It’s a conspiracy to destroy the Assamese language, culture and identity. It is to divert the attention of the people from basic issues like bhaat-roti (food), kapra (clothing), ghar (home) and rozgar (employment). They (the state and central governments) got the vote of the people by building dreams. Now, they have broken the dreams of the people by bringing in a divisive act,” said Hemant Bora, vice-president of Vir Lachit Sena’s central committee. “We also demand the unconditional release of KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi and others who have been arrested and jailed during anti-CAA protests.”
Members of Rupai Masjid Committee and the people of greater Rupai Siding, Doomdooma and Tipuk also took part in the agitation.
In Tinsukia, thousands of people gathered at the ITI field at Borguri demanding scrapping of CAA. “It will damage our language, culture and identity. So, we have come together to protest against the act. The Centre should discuss with all groups and organisations and scrap the bill to protect the Assamese community,” said Munmun Dev Mahanta, xatradhikar, Rongpuriya Kriti Nagar Adarsh Xatra. “We cannot sit comfortably till CAA is scrapped,” said Junmoni Goswami, a participant.
In Talap town, business establishments remained closed till the evening as traders joined the protest. Protests were also organised at North Margherita Bihu Rangmanch and at Shahibedi, Digboi.
Curfew was imposed by district magistrate Bhaskar Pegu from 8pm on Saturday for nine hours. Liquor shops will open on Sunday from 11am to 4pm.