LAKHIMPUR, June 23: Around 28 organizations, led by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the common people of Dhemaji staged a strong protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 by carrying out Gana Satyagraha on Saturday.
More than 20,000 people of the district participating in the programme unanimously expressed their resentment against the Union Government’s initiative to grant Indian citizenship to Hindu foreigners by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955. The leaders and activists of the 28 organizations at first assembled at the Court Field of the district and convened a protest meeting which began with the speech of Chitta Ranjan Basumatary, AASU vice-president. He called upon the people to prevent the alleged conspiracy hatched by the government in order to build a permanent vote bank by discriminating the foreigners on the basis of religion in a secular country.
Similarly, Monoj Gogoi from ATASU, Girin Chutia from Chutia Students’ Union, Debananda Chelleng from Sonowal Kachari Students’ Union, Pranjal Deuri from Deuri Students’ Union, Nandeswar Gohain from Dhemaji Xahitya Xabha, Deba Das from SC Students’ Union, Ram Navami from Bhujpuri Students’ Union and many other leaders representing their respective organizations became vocal against the controversial bill and demanded the immediate scrapping of the Bill or threatened to continue a strong agitation. They vowed to fight jointly against it. On the other hand, taking part in the Gana Satygraha, AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi came down heavily on both the Union and State governments over the issue and accused both the governments of patronizing communal politics in the sensitive foreigners’ issue.
“The spontaneous participation of common people in the programme has proved that the people of Assam will never allow the ruling government to turn the Bill into an Act and to carry it forward. We will be ever vigilant to safeguard the existence of the indigenous groups which will be inevitably endangered by the proposed Bill,” he reiterated and warned the government not to make any anti-Assam move.
The protesters took out a rally in Dhemaji town from Court Field shouting various anti-government and anti-Citizenship Bill slogans. They also submitted a memorandum demanding the scrapping of the Bill to the Prime Minister through the Dhemaji DC. Significantly, popular vocal artiste of the State, Mahendra Hazarika spontaneously took part in the programme and protested against the Bill through his songs. In addition to the 28 indigenous organizations, more than 30 other organizations and institutions of the area extended support to the programme and protested against the Bill.