Friday, August 6, 2021
North East

Citizenship bill protesters threaten ‘do or die’ agitation

GUWAHATI, January 3: The coordination committee of 70 organizations, led by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), steering the movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday announced a ‘do or die’ agitation against the contentious legislation.
After the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), reviewing the bill, concluded its crucial meeting on Monday without incorporating the opposition’s proposed amendments to the legislation for omitting Bangladesh from its purview, several organizations of the state are up in arms. They have expressed apprehensions that the bill is going to be tabled in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing winter session of the Parliament itself.
“Every native of Assam should understand that if the bill gets passed, it will pave the way for entry of 1.9 crore Bangladeshis into Assam. Assamese nationalism will die for ever and people of the state would no more be able to raise their voice before Delhi so vigorously. One of the most powerful regional forces of the country will weaken if the controversial bill gets consent of the Parliament,” said KMSS adviser Akhil Gogoi.
He warned the BJP-led government at the Centre and in the state that they would have to face a ‘do or die’ protest if the bill is not withdrawn immediately. Though the 70 organizations did not announce their protest programme, Akhil told media that they have resolved to “go to any extent to save Assam from impending dangers of the legislation” before the ensuing general election.
The KMSS adviser said the movement by various organizations has failed to bring any alteration to the bill which seeks to grant citizenship to persecuted religious minorities, including Hindus who fled Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
AJYCP general secretary Palash Changmai cautioned the BJP-led government not to ‘hoodwink’ the people of the state by giving the false promise of granting scheduled tribe (ST) status to six communities to ‘unsettle’ the movement against the bill. Reports that the Centre is considering the ST status demand has been making rounds in the state recently.
“If the Centre has the willingness to grant ST status to six communities of Assam and wants to give constitutional safeguard to the people of the state, we urge them to fulfil their commitments before Lok Sabha election. But, at the same time, the 70 organizations warn the BJP-led government not to play with our sentiments,” he said. (TNN)

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