GUWAHATI, November 8: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) along with 28 ethnic organizations of the state staged a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 at Ganeshguri here before taking out a procession to Janata Bhawan in Dispur on Thursday.
Several thousands of members and activists of the organisations held placards against the Bill shouted slogans against the proposed legislation that seeks to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities from India’s neighbouring countries including Bangladesh.
“This protest is a clear warning to the state government to make its stand clear on the Citizenship Bill, whether it is for indigenous communities or whether it is with the illegal migrants. Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who has been silent on the issue, now has to give us a clear stand as he had earlier said that the security of the indigenous people would not be compromised with,” AASU chief advisor, Samujjal Bhattacharya told a section of the media during the rally.
It may be mentioned that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance led by chief minister, Conrad K. Sangma, has decided against the proposed legislation in Meghalaya.
The North East Students Organisation, the apex organization of students’ unions in the region, had recently met Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Union minister of state for home, Kiren Rijiju in New Delhi and submitted an eihjt-point charter of demands opposing the Bill.
The AASU leader said that under no circumstances would such a legislation be allowed to be implemented in Assam as it is a threat to the indigenous people of the state, their language, culture and identity.
The influential students union, along with the 28 indigenous organisations and various other local organisations, has staged a series of agitation against the Bill besides meeting the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) delegation constituted to take opinions and suggestions from stakeholders in the Northeast on the proposed legislation.
The Bill is under consideration of the JPC of both Houses of Parliament. (Agencies)