Tinsukia: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal left hurriedly from his residence at Lakshmi Nagar in Assam’s Dibrugarh town to escape our protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019, claimed All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), the apex students’ body of the state.
Speaking with EastMojo, AASU Dibrugarh district president Bulbul Dutta said: “We took out a motorcycle rally in the town to mark our protest against CAB as part of a statewide programme. We headed towards the CM’s residence to create awareness among people living there, however, he fled in his chopper fearing our protest.”
The protestors were heard raising slogans such as “CM tumar laaj nai laaj nai, CAB aami nemanu” (CM doesn’t have shame, we will not accept CAB) as they were left with no option but to walk through the road which houses the CM’s residence.
The Assam Agitation (1979-85) had compelled the government to sign the historic Assam Accord, paving the way to detect and deport all illegal migrants who came to Assam on or after March 25, 1971.
However, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, seeks migrants from certain minority communities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to be considered eligible for Indian citizenship.
The government has listed the controversial bill at serial number 16 in the items of government business identified for being taken up in both houses of Parliament during the ongoing winter session, the move has sparked a series of protests in Northeastern states.
“The CM had lost his face to face us,” Dutta said, adding, “Our democratic protest was stopped metres ahead of Sonowal’s residence by the police who laid barricades. We left our motorcycles and walked in front of his home and shouted slogans.”
We won’t allow Assam to be a dumping ground, said Dutta. “The illegal immigrants must not be differentiated on the basis of religion. It will violate the very idea of secularism. The amendment act will open a floodgate of migration of Hindu Bengali population from neighbouring Bangladesh into Assam, and the legal influx of new refugees will have serious repercussion on the socio-economic fabric of the state,” he added.
“The bill will not be accepted under any circumstances. We demand that the government scrap the bill,” Dutta added.