Protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill have intensified in Assam with protesters turning violent against the ruling BJP in the state. On Wednesday, a group of protesters mercilessly thrashed a local BJP leader Lakheswar Moran.
This was after a clash broke out between RSS workers and All Assam Students’ Union and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad. The RSS, according to news agency ANI, had organised a meeting in Tinsukia near the venue where a protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was underway. Soon the violence broke out and protesters singled out Moran for brutal attack. In the video, now gone viral, Moran is seen scurrying for cover after police personnel are unable to protection.
This is the fifth week of protests by the All Assam Students Union (AASU) came out to streets holding torch lights late Thursday. They have also found support from the opposition Congress, which too has staged several rallies across the state.
Led by AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattachrya and president Dipanka Nath, the protesters have been raising slogan against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the BJP-led governments in the state and the Centre. They have also routinely waived blag flags to Sonowal during his public appearances in the past.
Such is the anger that a famous Assamese singer Zubeen Garg even asked the BJP to return all votes that the party secured using his song in the 2016 assembly elections.
Passed in Lok Sabha on 8 January, the contentious Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to news agency PTI, a large section of people in the northeast have opposed the Bill, saying it would nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for deportation of illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.
Opposing the Bill, the Asom Gana Parishad withdrew its support to the the state government led by the BJP. The AGP has now decided to support the 70 organisations, led by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), agitating against the Bill.