GUWAHATI, May 21: The North East Students’ Organization (NESO) on Monday staged demonstrations at the capitals of seven northeastern States vehemently opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Leaders and activists of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) staged demonstration in front of Raj Bhawan here on Monday, raising slogans against the Bill and demanding that Centre must concede to the NESO’s demands of sealing the India-Bangladesh border and introduction of inner line permit (ILP) for all northeastern States, among others. A memorandum was later submitted in this regard to the Governor Jagdish Mukhi by the AASU delegation. Giving a clear warning to the Centre to desist from imposing any further burden of lakhs of Bangladeshis on the region, NESO adviser Sammujal Bhattacharjya said the proposed “anti-indigenous and anti-Constitutional” legislation will threaten the existence, identity, language and culture of the indigenous people of the Northeast.
“This protest in all the seven capitals of the Northeast today conveyed a message that we may be divided by geographical boundaries but we are united for a cause, which is to protect the indigenous people. We, therefore, want to warn the Centre that the people of the Northeast will not accept the Bill as the region is not a dumping ground for foreigners,” Bhattacharjya told reporters here.
NESO, in its executive council meeting here recently, had threatened to take the region-wide agitation to New Delhi in the coming days.
“This agitation is currently being staged at the State and regional levels. We want to remind the Centre again that no State in the Northeast is fighting a lone battle. NESO will take this agitation to the national level as well,” Bhattacharjya said.
The NESO recently submitted its views and suggestions before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill during its public hearing.
Bhattacharjya, while demanding time-bound implementation of the Assam Accord and ILP, said it is high time to ensure constitutional safeguards and land rights for the indigenous people of the region to safeguard their identity.
“We also want a bilateral treaty with Bangladesh aimed at checking influx and deportation of foreigners,” Bhattacharjya said.