Amid reports that Citizenship (Amendment) Bill might come up during ongoing session of Parliament, protests against the contentious legislation continued in Assam with prominent youth organisation Asom Jatiyabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) taking out a huge protest rally here on Wednesday opposing CAB.
Holding banners and placards, the agitators marched from Guwahati Club point of the city demanding CAB be scrapped as it is “unconstitutional” and goes against the “existence of the indigenous people of Assam and other North East states”.
The AJYCP has been protesting against the bill since early this year along with influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and social organisation Krishak Mukti Sangram Parishad (KMSS), asserting that the legislation will not be accepted at any cost by the people of the state.
AJYCP general secretary Palash Changmai leading the march told reporters “the BJP-led government at the centre in its political interest to hold on to power wants to impose this legislation on us which threatens the existence of the people of Assam and the Northeast.
“Chief Minister of Assam who was given the title ‘Jatiya Nayaak’ (Peoples Hero) because he had got the illegal migrants (determination) by Tribunals Act scrapped is today silent on CAB when his counterparts in the N-E are strongly opposing it.
“This goes to show this chief minister is not standing with the indigenous people of the state. So we the people and all organisations have to come out to the street to protest against the CAB”, Changmai said.
“We demand a plebiscite on CAB and then the government take a decision whether to or not bring the law based on its outcome”, maintained the leader of AJYCP.
One of the demonstrators holding banners and placards against the bill, avered: “the people of Assam cannot accept CAB as it will make the indigenous people and their language extinct with the settlement of people from other countries here”.
The anti-CAB movement has intensified since November 11 when AJYCP, AASU, RTI activist Akhil Gogoi-led KMSS and the Indigenous Forum, Assam, led by pro-talk ULFA leaders Anup Chetia, Mrinal Hazarika and human rights activists Lachit Bordoloi have been separately protesting across Assam.
They have been raising slogans against the BJP-led central and Assam governments for allegedly adopting an “anti-Assam policy to settle illegal Hindu migrants in the state by amending the Citizenship Act, thereby changing the demographic pattern of the state”.
In September this year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had stated at a NEDA meeting in Guwahati that the existing different laws of all states of the region will remain untouched even with the introduction of the CAB with the cut-off date of December 31, 2014.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 but not tabled in Rajya Sabha.
It seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document.