Guwahati, November 8, 2018:
Twenty eight indigenous organizations of Assam, led by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), on Thursday took to the streets in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The protestors marched through the busy thoroughfares of Assam capital Guwahati chanting slogans against both the state as well as Central government.
Thousands of protestors, led by AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya, its president Dipanka Nath and general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi, were heading towards the secretariat ‘Janata Bhawan’ but were stopped midway by the police.
Speaking to InsideNe, Bhattacharya said, “The Central government is trying to forcefully impose the bill on the people of Assam but we will never accept it at any cost.”
He added, “We urge the Chief Minister, Ministers and all the legislators of Assam to make their stand clear – whether they support or oppose the bill.”
“Why cannot the Assam government take a decision when a BJP-supported government in Meghalaya took a Cabinet decision against the Bill?” asked Bhattacharya.
It may be mentioned that Assam has been under constant turmoil for the past few months due to the Centre’s plan to amend the Citizenship Bill to grant citizenship to the non-Muslim immigrants of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan who migrated to India till December 31, 2014.
According to the AASU, the proposed legislation poses a grave threat to Assam and its land, language, culture etc.
A strong message was sent out to the government through Thursday’s protest rally that the people of Assam stand united and will not give up so easily to the Centre’s design.