The mass demonstration programme ‘Bajraninad’ (voice of thunder) in Guwahati was supported by at least 30 organizations of northeastern states, political parties and people from different walks of life.
GUWAHATI — Thousands of people gathered at a playground in Assam capital on Wednesday to participate in a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 as the All Assam students’ Union (AASU) resolved to organize a community and village-level meetings against the contentious Bill.
The mass demonstration programme titled ‘Bajraninad’ (voice of thunder) was supported by at least 30 organizations of the northeastern states, political parties and people from different walks of life.
“We have agreed to accept the burden of illegal immigrants who came till 1971 as part of the Assam Accord. When the accord was presented in Parliament, BJP leaders such as Atal Behari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani supported it. Now the government wants to grant citizenship to those who came after 1971. We are not going to accept that,” said AASU adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya.
He termed the BJP-led government at the Centre as well as in Assam as protector of illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators. He said the BJP spoke for the protection of indigenous people before the polls, but concentrated on illegal Bangladeshis after the victory in the polls.
“We are going to organize ‘Raij Mel (community meeting)’ and Gaon Sabha from tomorrow to make the people aware about the protectors of the illegal Bangladeshis. A mass movement will be raised across the state,” said Bhattacharyya.
He said the Centre’s decision to grant citizenship won’t be accepted as it will jeopardize the identity of indigenous people.
“We have seen how Hindu Bangladeshis have changed the demography of Tripura. Out of the total 40 lakh population of the state, only 12 lakh are indigenous Tripuris. We won’t allow this to happen in Assam,” said Bhattacharyya.
Thousands including students hit roads in Mizoram
Meanwhile, thousands of people, including students, hit the streets across different places in Mizoram on Wednesday to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh were torched, as protesters took out rallies from here, seven district headquarters and at over 50 other places.
Raising slogans and carrying placards, the agitators demanded the resignation of the PM and the home minister, alleging that the controversial bill will endanger the very existence of the Mizos.
The rally was organised by the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) or Mizo students federation, which had also organised an 11-hour, state-wide bandh on January 8.
MZP president said if the bill is passed, it would lead to the “total alienation of the Mizo people”.