AASU plea to govt on citizen bill in Guwahati

AASU adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya said if the government does not respond to their protest, they will intensify it

By A Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 9.11.18, 4:20 PM
  • Updated 9.11.18, 4:20 PM
  • 2 mins read
Protesters take part in the rally against the citizenship bill on Thursday. UB Photos

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and 28 organisations on Thursday appealed to the people of the state to “sideline” political parties which are in power as a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The groups held a protest near the Assam Assembly in Dispur on Thursday to warn the government that it would face their ire in the days to come if it failed to take a stand against the bill.

Besides students from different schools and colleges and leaders of Sodou Asom Karmachari Parishad, state government employees, also participated in the protest.

In 2016, the BJP came to power in Assam by forging an alliance with regional parties like AGP and BPF with the promise of protecting jati, mati and bheti.

“The Centre is trying to impose the bill on Assam. But the chief minister of our state is silent. Let us be united and sideline these political parties in the state in the coming elections,” said AASU president Dipanka Nath.

The bill is seen as a threat to the indigenous people Assam with the apprehension that if it is passed by Parliament it would open the door for nearly 1.5 crore Hindu Bangladeshis to come to Assam. The bill is likely to be presented in the winter session of Parliament.

The organisations also opposed the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015, Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015, and the long-term visa to the people from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“The indigenous people of Assam have understood that once the bill is passed their identity will be in danger. But the government has failed to understand this. Which is why we have come to Dispur to send our message to the government,” said Aditya Khakhlari, general secretary of All Assam Tribal Sangha, one of the 28 organisations.

“Although the BJP is in power in Meghalaya, its cabinet has taken a resolution against the bill. We want our chief minister to clarify his stand,” he said.

Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association general secretary Paban Bedia said “instead of working to protect the interests of the people, the BJP-led government in Assam is working to protest their own interests. We have been opposing the bill and will continue to do so,” he said.

All Bodo Students’ Union president Pramod Boro said the people’s representatives have no right to work against people who had voted them to power.

“It seems there is no difference between Badruddin Ajmal, who had floated a political party based on religion, and those in power in Assam now,” said AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi.

AASU adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya said if the government does not respond to their protest, they will intensify it.

“No matter what Delhi does, Dispur must protect the interests of indigenous people,” he said. The protesters also organised a procession to Last Gate area.