GUWAHATI: When the areas under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution and the States having ILP (Inner Line Permit) are exempted from the ambit of CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill), how can the Citizenship Act be okay for the remaining parts of Assam, Tripura, Manipur and other regions of the North East? posed leaders of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) here on Saturday.
Addressing media persons here on Saturday, chief advisor of AASU (All Assam Students Union) Samujjal Bhattacharya further asked, “When the CAB is harmful for certain areas of the Northeast, how can it be recommended for the remaining portions of the region?”
He further said, “The Centre is playing vote-bank politics on the basis of religion. We do not depend on Bangladeshi nationals for our survival.”
Dwelling on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, Bhattacharya demanded, “The people of Assam want Constitutional safeguards under the Assam Accord. But that does include those who entered the country after 1971. There will be no bargaining on this score!”
The student leader further said, “We challenge the Center to have an open debate on the Assam Accord.”
On the NESO leaders’ meet on Friday, Bhattacharya said, “We may have geographical boundaries in the Northeast, but all of us unite at times of crises. We’ll fight CAB tooth and nail. The State government will not be forgiven if it remains a rubber stamp of the Central government. The masses will give a fitting reply.”
On the bandh called by NESO on Tuesday, the AASU leader said, “December 10 is also the ‘Swahid Divas’ in the memory of the martyrs of the Assam Agitation. We appeal to the masses to offer their respects to the martyrs early in the morning, and then observe the bandh on the day.”
AASU president Dipanko Kumar Nath said, “The CAB will never be accepted, come what may. But the Assam government’s silence on this issue indicates its support to CAB. The BJP and the AGP are now two sides of the same coin. They will face the ire of the masses. The agitations by AASU and 30 indigenous organizations will continue. Torchlight rallies have taken place today. It will also be done tomorrow too. On December 13, a mass rally will be held in Guwahati, and there will be padayatras (processions) and awareness meetings in each village from December 14 onwards.
“If the CAB is placed in the Parliament on December 9, then copies of the Bill will be burnt across the State. “
AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi said, “The governments must refrain from playing with fire. Democratic movements cannot be stamped upon. We will continue our stir against CAB.