450 quintals of paddy collected so far have been kept in the AASU’s Sasoni unit office

A large number of farmers of Sasoni area in upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district have come forward to offer financial help to the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) for carrying out legal battle against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in the Supreme Court.

To raise the funds the villagers have planned to sell paddy and each household in 85 revenue villages under Sasoni Mauza has pledged to provide 4kg paddy for the purpose.

“We have been protesting against CAA on the streets. When we heard that the AASU and several indigenous groups have lodged petitions in the Supreme Court against CAA, we decided to help them financially to fight the legal battle by selling paddy. We have decided that each family will provide 1 dun (4kg) paddy,” Rakesh Borah

“Till now, we have collected 450 quintals (45,000kg) from 75 villages inhabited by 50,000 people. The remaining 10 villages will provide paddy within three to four days. We hope to collect around 600 quintals (60,000kg),” he said.

Sasoni area has about 15,000 households. Several indigenous groups have been collecting paddy from the villagers since the past four days.

The vice-president of AASU’s Dibrugarh unit, Anjan Neog, said the villagers of Sasoni Mauza willingly came forward to support the fight against CAA in the Supreme Court.

He said the 450 quintals of paddy collected so far have been kept in the AASU’s Sasoni unit office.

This paddy will be sold to local traders on January 18 in the presence of AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi during a mass protest at Sasoni Merbil ground.

They have targeted to collect Rs 6 lakh by selling the paddy and will hand over the amount to the student body that day.

“We will observe the day as martyrs’ day in the name of Ajit Neog and Nagen Deka who sacrificed their lives during the oil blockade protest at Duliajan during the Assam Agitation (1979-85). After paying tributes to these martyrs through gayon-bayon (singer and musician) and naam prasanga (community prayers), we will organise a mass protest,” Neog added.

A woman from the mouza said they would never accept CAA and would continue their protest till Assam is exempted.

Another woman said if the amount accrued from the sale of the paddy falls short, they would not hesitate to sell their blood to fight CAA in court.

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