Posted on December 3, 2019, 1:25 PM IST
The Citizenship Amendment Bill is most likely to pass during the ongoing winter session of the parliament. But student boards and union from Assam have intensified their protests in Assam. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and students of several institutions organized a cycle, motorcycle rally across the state to protest against the bill.
The protesters shouted slogans against the bill, and the BJP-led both Central and state governments. The All Assam Students’ Union insisted that the people of Assam will not take this bill, that it is unconstitutional and communal and it will adversely affect the culture and heritage of Assam. They are demanding the government to scrap the bill immediately.
Apart from AASU, the students of several educational institutions of the state including Dibrugarh University, Cotton University continued their protests against the bill. On Tuesday, the students of the Dibrugarh University staged protest in front of the university.
The students shouted slogans against the bill and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal while demanding its immediate withdrawal. They also critized the CM of the state for not joining them in protests like his counterparts in Meghalaya and Nagaland. “The chief ministers of neighbouring states like Meghalaya and Nagaland oppose the bill though these states enjoy special status. But the Assam chief minister is silent,” said AASU General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend a 1955 law to grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from the Muslim-majority nations of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan if they have lived in India for six years. It had been passed in the previous Lok Sabha in January but was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha. The bill lapsed after the term of the Lok Sabha ended in May, but was not introduced in the Budget Session in July.
The students’ union leaders have decided to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi to put across their opposition to the bill. Shah is holding meetings with political and non-political organisations from the North East before tabling the bill in Parliament. On Friday and Saturday, Shah held discussions with politicians, student groups, and civil society bodies from Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh on the proposed legislation. Shah held the first of such meetings after protests were organised across the North East on November 18.
Lurinjyoti Gogoi said the bill violates the secular character of the Constitution and the Assam Accord. “If the Centre is thinking that it will be able to put the burden of illegal foreigners on us through the bill while offering implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord then it is wrong,” he added. “We will not accept the bill.”