GUWAHATI, Nov 4: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) today resumed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), holding sit-in demonstrations in various parts of the State. AASU leaders flayed the Centre’s move to reportedly table the proposed legislation in Parliament by the end of this year.
AASU leaders — including the student body’s chief adviser Damujjal Kumar Bhattacharya, president Dipanka Kumar Nath and general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi — took part in a sit-in demonstration on the banks of the Dighalipukhuri as they vowed to continue their stir and to intensiy protests if the government doesn’t bow down to their demands.
“People of Assam will never accept the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the AASU is firm in its opposition. We will continue our stir and intensify protests if the Governemnt does not heed to our demands,” Dipanka Kumar Nath said.
Sit-in demonstrations were also staged at other parts of the State.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on Jan 8 this year. The Government, however, did not table it in Rajya Sabha considering the protests it triggered in Assam and the Northeast and the numbers the NDA then had in the Upper House of Parliament.
The bill lapsed with the end of the term of the 16th Lok Sabha in May.
Home Minister Amit Shah had during the NEDA conclave in Guwahati in September announced that the central government would retable the bill but assured that the interests of the region and the indigenous communities would be safeguarded.
“There are apprehensions over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. I want to assure you that despite the government being positive about the legislation, rights of indigenous communities will be protected and safeguarded,” Shah had said, and added: “We have already fixed Dec 31, 2014, as the cut-off date and will not grant citizenship to those entering after the cut-off date”.
NEDA convener and Assam Finance, Health and PWD Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had also announced that the Government will table CAB in Parliament in November.