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AASU & 28 bodies to continue agitation

Hindu Bangladeshi issue

GUWAHATI, June 1: After finding lack of commitment and conviction in Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 the All Assam Students’ Union and 28 other indigenous organizations on Friday vowed to continue their agitation against the proposed legislation with more intensity and vigor.

The assertion to continue the agitation by the AASU and 28 other indigenous or ethnic organizations came after a meeting between the chief minister and leaders of 29 organizations held at Dispur on Friday. Sonowal convened the meeting with an aim to reach at a consensus with the AASU and 28 ethnic organizations to end the ongoing agitation and strikes across the State against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

“We are not convinced with the Chief Minister’s assertion against the Bill. Though the government came up with various proposals and moves that it is taking up to implement the Assam Accord and safeguard rights of indigenous people during the meeting, the core agenda of the meeting that was opposition against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was not touched by the government. We attended the meeting to hear a loud and clear stand from Sonowal against the Bill. But nothing such happened at the meeting. Under such circumstances the AASU and 28 other ethnic organizations decided to continue the agitation,” AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharjya told reporters here.

Bhattacharjya said even though the chief minister while quoting the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told them that the Centre will not do anything on the issue without consulting the people of Assam, the AASU and 28 organizations said mere verbal assurance from the Centre will not be enough to convince them.

“Chief Minister said one should not be apprehensive about the fate of Assamese people because of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, we have told him that the indigenous people of the State have already become very apprehensive about identity,” Bhattacharjya said.

The AASU leader urged Sonowal to take a bold stand like the first chief minister of Assam Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi who opposed the then Prime Minister Jawaharlan Nehru’s the grouping plan that prevented Assam from becoming a part of the then East Pakistan (presently Bangladesh). “Like Gopinath Bordoloi Sonowal should now oppose Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi’s move to impose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which will a disaster for Assam,” Bhattacharjya said.