The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which is leading the ongoing agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the state, Thursday called for people to burn copies of the CAA in celebratory bonfires during the upcoming Bihu festivities.
Addressing the media before his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the number of people who will be eligible to gain citizenship in Assam through CAA will not exceed 3.5-4 lakh. He said once the application process for citizenship through CAA is finished, it will be an “agni-pariksha” for the BJP. He said the government will tackle the “misinformation” campaign against the amended law.
It is an important part of the Magh Bihu celebrations to burn structures made of hay, straw and wood as a mark of obeisance and gratitude for a good harvest. The words ‘No CAA’ and its variants have been carved out to be burnt at several celebration spots.
There were cultural protests against the citizenship law in Assam on Thursday. Addressing one such gathering of artistes in Guwahati, AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya called on people to burn copies of the CAA and reiterated that the agitation will continue till the law is repealed.
He also hit out at Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal over his claim that the Left and Congress were behind the protests. In Dhemaji, where the BJP held a ‘peace rally’ on Wednesday, AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi addressed a large protest gathering and said that people have come to the rally on their own while the BJP had to “hire” people.
Gogoi said the indigenous people do not need the “permission” of Modi or Shah to come out to protest to save their language and culture.