GUWAHATI: High-level delegations of the AASU (All Assam Students’ Union) and the AJYCP (Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad) will be participating in the discussions on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Tuesday. However, top leaders of the students’ organizations told The Sentinel that they will keep on opposing the move of the Centre to bring in the amended bill in the ongoing Parliament session.
AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said, “The Government of India has invited us for discussion on CAB. We’re a democratic students’ organization. So we’ll participate in the parleys. But we will continue out opposition to CAB. We’ll openly tell Union Home Minister Amit Shah that AASU will never accept CAB. This applies to both the older and the newer versions.
“We oppose the CAB in toto; therefore we won’t accept the government’s stand on excluding the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam and the ILP (Inner Line Permit) States of the Northeast from the newer version of the CAB.
“The government wants to accord citizenship to Hindu Bengalis who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014. This is nothing but doing politics in the name of religion — a favourite game of the major political parties of the country. If the CAB is approved in the present Parliament, it will open the scope for other political parties (if they form government) to once again amend the CAB in future and accord citizenship to other religious minorities of foreign countries.
“The CAB clearly violates the secular character of the Preamble to the Constitution of India. It also violates the cut-off date of the Assam Accord for identifying illegal foreigners. We stand by that cut-off date — March 24 midnight, 1971. How can we forget the sacrifice of over 855 martyrs of the agitation in Assam against illegal foreigners?”
AJYCP general secretary Palash Changmai said, “We’ll participate in the discussion in Delhi tomorrow. Just as we are opposing the CAB on the streets we’ll oppose the proposed Bill during the discussion with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The CAB poses a serious threat to the language, culture and identity of the indigenous people of Assam and the entire North East.”
He further said, “We have been demanding the introduction of the ILP in Assam for the last 40 years. But neither the State government nor the Centre did anything on this vital issue. However now, the Centre is talking of exempting the ILP States from the CAB. Had the ILP been there in Assam, our State would also have been exempted from the bill. The ILP is still important for Assam. So we’ll once again put forth this demand for introduction of the ILP in Assam at tomorrow’s meeting in Delhi.”