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Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: AASU and 28 other ethnic organizations warn Dispur

GUWAHATI: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and 28 other ethnic organizations on Thursday hit the streets in the State’s capital city here to warn the ruling BJP at Dispur against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015; the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015 and the proposed long-term visas to people from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Taking out a massive rally at Dispur, the State’s seat of power the AASU and 28 ethnic organizations accused the BJP-led government in Dispur of perpetrating “mental torture” on indigenous Assamese people by maintaining a stony silence on the Centre’s move to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in the Parliament. The indigenous organizations made it clear that their agitation will intensify in the coming days if the government does not scrap the Bill.

Addressing the huge gatherings drawn from different indigenous organizations here on Thursday afternoon the AASU chief advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharjya said Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal assured the people of the State not to become worried and apprehensive about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill before the Assembly polls in 2016. “But after the polls the indigenous people of Assam are really worried, frustrated and they are being subjected to mental torture by the Sonowal Government for not raising voice against the Bill. The BJP came to power in Assam riding on promises of change. Nothing has changed in the last two years of the BJP’s regime in Assam. The illegal Bangladeshis are supposed to leave the state, it did not happen. The indigenous people are supposed to get constitutional safeguard, again, nothing happened,” he said.

Alleging that a section of protectors of illegal Bangladeshis have been able to enter Dispur, Dr Bhattacharjya threatened to cripple movement of the ruling BJP’s ministers and MLAs through democratic movements if the Bill is not scrapped at the earliest.

AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath said the indigenous people are frustrated and scared as a conspiracy has been hatched to destroy their language, culture and ethos. He said it is shocking that Sarbananda Sonowal who became the chief minister of the State solely because of his outstanding fight and bold steps to safeguard the identity of identity of indigenous people, has now even failed to speak a word against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. He said it is time to isolate the ruling BJP and teach them a lesson in the next elections.

AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi while the addressing the rally asked Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to clear his stand whether he is in favour of the Bill or against the Bill. “If CM does not clear his stand the indigenous people will take their own course of action,” Gogoi said.
While the president of All Bodo Students’ Union Pramode Boro said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has vitiated the State’s atmosphere, general secretary of All Assam Tribal Sangh Aditya Khakhlari asked the Assam Government to follow Meghalaya and Nagaland by adopting a Cabinet resolution against the Bill.

President of Rabha Students’ Union Ramen Singh Rabha warned the BJP not play with sentiments of indigenous people by their Hindutva agenda. He said the BJP leader Rupam Goswami must not visit the Rabha dominated areas in the State for his alleged anti-Rabha statement.

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