The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Sadou Asom Karmachari Parishad jointly took out a protest rally in Guwahati on Wednesday against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central Government’s move to grant Indian citizenship to illegal migrants including Hindu Bangladeshis by implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and demanding scrapping of the Bill.
The protestors took out the protest rally from Ujanbazar to the Raj Bhawan in the city and submitted a memorandum to Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi.
Appealing to the Assam Government to oppose the Bill for the greater interest of the indigenous people of the State, AASU chief advisor Samujjal Kr Bhattacharya said, “Unless and until the Bill is scrapped, we will continue our protest.”
Citing the example of Conrad Sangma-led coalition Government in Meghalaya which opposed the Bill, where BJP is a partner in the Government, Bhattacharya questioned, “Why can’t the Assam Government oppose the Bill? The Bill would pose threat to the identity of the Assamese community, its cultures and languages.”
The AASU chief advisor also reiterated the union’s demands to withdraw the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 with immediate effect, provide constitutional safeguard to the indigenous people of the State, implement the Assam Accord to identify and deport the illegal Bangladeshis, sealing of Indo-Bangla Border and signing of a bilateral agreement between India and Bangladesh.
He also said, “We sought a time-bound action plan from the Government on the illegal Bangladeshis issue which the State Government could not provide during the talk on June 1.”
“The BJP-led Governments both at the Centre and the State have been trying to create unrest in the State by implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,” alleged Bhattacharya.
The talks between Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the representatives of 29 students’ organisations including the AASU in Guwahati over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 virtually failed on June 1 promoting the organisations to announce that they would continue to carry out protests against the controversial Bill.
AASU president Dipanka Nath, general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi, Sadou Asom Karmachari Parishad president Basab Kalita and general secretary Faqaruddin Ahmed joined the protest rally.