North East Students Take to Street against Controversial Citizenship Bill

A protest in Assam against India’s citizenship bill in late January 2019. EPA

GUWAHATI (IANS) – Student unions belonging to northeastern states on Monday staged protest rallies against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is likely to be tabled in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

The North East Students’ Organization (NESO) called for the agitation on Monday in all the northeastern states. Hundreds of students belonging to different tribes and communities took part in protest rallies organized in different state capitals on Monday.

In Assam capital Guwahati, All Assam Students Union (AASU) organized the protest rally from the Union’s headquarters to the Raj Bhavan shouting slogans and showing placards with messages written against the CAB.

“The BJP-led government at the Centre is planning to implement the CAB one more time and we are going to oppose this. Assam and other northeastern states had taken a lot of burden of illegal foreigners in the past. But not any more, we’ll not let anyone make Assam and the northeastrn states as dumping ground for illegal foreigners,” said AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya.

The organizations also submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah through the Raj Bhavan.

“We are submitting this memorandum to express our dismay and displeasure that the government of India has again intended to introduce the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament,” said NESO chairman Samuel B. Jyrwa.

“Your government is again planning to bring back the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in this session of Parliament to which we as indigenous people of the North-East are vehemently opposed. In this regard, we would like to highlight that the entire North East region is infested with foreigners from the erstwhile East Pakistan and now, Bangladesh. They have infiltrated into and polluted every aspect of our social life,” he said.

He said politicians have supported illegal foreigners, threatening the identity of the indigenous people of the region.

“It may also be reminded that many states of the North-East have taken the load of Hindu refugees who have migrated due to the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 and this Citizen (Amendment) Bill is again an attempt to impose the burden of the post-1971 Hindu Bangladeshis in the entire North East region which is not justified,” he said.

Jyrwa said that NESO fully supported signing of the Assam Accord by the All Assam Students’ Union setting March 25, 1971, as the cut-off year for detection and deportation of the foreigners from Assam.

“We oppose the objective of the Bill and it should not be adopted by Parliament,” he added.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here