Demanding scrapping of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, hundreds take to streets

Our Correspondent
DIGBOI, May 28: Slamming the policies and directives of the BJP government and the RSS in the form of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, various Digboi socio-cultural organizations, women’s organizations, student bodies and students of different schools and colleges across Digboi took to the streets on Monday morning demanding immediate scrapping of the proposed legislation. The mass protest rally organized under the aegis of the apex student body in Assam, AASU, started from Swahid Bedi Tinali in Digboi and culminated in Borbil enrouting the heart of Digboi on NH-38.

Lending support to the voices of dissent over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, hundreds of student activists staged demonstrations with banners, placards and pamphlets registering their protests against the indifferent attitude of the BJP government at the Centre and the State in regard to the said Bill. The aggrieved and determined protesters, exhibiting solidarity during the ongoing movement, said that the agitation was sure to assume a sharp U-turn on an extensive height if the government turned a deaf ear to the cries of the people of the State. They chanted, “Dekhot koi mumai dangor nohoy.”

According to Nikhil Koch, the secretary of the Tinsukia district unit of AASU, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. A key amendment in the bill seeks to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India. Koch said they would continue the stir till the time the government conceded to their demands, which otherwise was detrimental to the very existence of the people of the State of Assam, grossly affecting the entire demography. “The proposed poisonous capsule in the form of the said bill is one among the many examples that establishes the intentions and designs of the lawmakers in our country. They have very little regard for the indigenous populace of Assam and the entire north-eastern region,” Koch lamented.

“The continued and unabated influx of refugees and undocumented migrants from the neighbouring countries, especially Bangladesh, has threatened the existence of indigenous people,” Punya Saikia, a senior citizen and social worker of Digboi who has also been the State literary pension holder, said.