The protesters who came from different parts of Dibrugarh district first took out a motorcycle rally across the town.

The members of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on Monday staged a protest in front of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s residence in Dibrugarh demanding scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The protesters confronted with the police near chief minister Sonowal residence and later broke the barricade which was installed to prevent the protesters.

Sonowal was not present at his residence during the protest.

The chief minister was in Dibrugarh on Sunday to attend his relative’s marriage at his paternal house in Chabua.

The protesters who came from different parts of Dibrugarh district first took out a motorcycle rally across the town before converging in front of chief minister’s residence at No 1 Lakhinagar Road here.

Sonowal who was at his residence left hours before the protest for Jorhat by a chopper from a temporary helipad near his residence  to attend the Asom Divas programme organised to pay homage to first Ahom King Chaolung Siu-Ka-Pha.

The police put up a strong barricade preventing the protesters from entering the CM’s residence.

“It is a shame that Sarbananda Sonowal who become the chief minister by using his popularity as a former AASU leader is now hell bent on bringing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,” AASU Dibrugarh district general secretary Sankar Jyoti Baruah said.

“He has betrayed the people of Assam. The Centre is trying to convert Assam into a dumping ground of illegal Bangladeshis but we won’t allow it to pass. If the bill is passed, the Assamese people will lose their political space and identity forever,” Baruah added.

“This is a time of great crisis for the people of Assam. People must unite against the CAB. The Bill is a big threat to the culture, language and identity of the Assamese people.

“It is a conspiracy to turn the Assamese community into a linguistic minority and make us politically weaker. I appeal to every single citizen of the state to support us in our movement,” he said.

The NDA government is likely to push for the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the ongoing winter session of the Parliament.

The government has listed the Bill in its items of business for the session.

The Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan if they have fled their respective country due to religious persecution and entered India up to December 31, 2014.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com