The Citizens’ Forum against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 has expressed its happiness as the contentious Bill lapsed in Rajya Sabha but appealed to the people of the region to be alert against the fascist forces that have initiated the process.
Prominent thinker Dr Hiren Gohain said this on Wednesday while adding that the fascist forces, who had initiated the process to disturb the peace and harmony of Assam through the contentious Bill must be destroyed for the sake of peace in Assam.
Dr Gohain, against whom the BJP led Assam government had filed a case of sedition, was granted an absolute bail by the Gauhati High Court. The court also granted absolute bail to other two others – peasants’ leader Akhil Gogoi and journalist Manjit Mahanta – against whom the government had filed the sedition charge. All the three spoke against the Citizenship Bill in a public meeting organized by the forum in Guwahati on Wednesday.
Dr Gohain on the other hand termed the government’s decision to file sedition charge as threat to democracy and said that it is dangerous for a healthy democracy. “If a sedition charge is filed against people for speaking at a public rally, it is a dangerous trend and it’s definitely not good for the world’s largest democracy,” said Dr Gohain.
“It is a victory of the people of the Northeast. As the Bill was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha today, it has elapsed. If the BJP government comes to power again at the Centre, they would have to start the process from the beginning – introducing the Bill in Lok Sabha afresh,” said Manjit Mahanta, convener of the Forum.
Mahanta termed the development as just a temporary relief and appealed to the people of Assam and the Northeast as a whole to be united to oppose the Bill in future also.