Wednesday, 22August2018

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AJYCP takes citizenship protest to Delhi

GUWAHATI: Leading students' organization Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) on Monday staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to protest against the Centre's move to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to regularize the entry and stay of religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The New Delhi-based Naga Students' Association, Manipur Students' Union and Tripura Students' Association also extended support to the movement against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which, they said, posed a grave danger to the indigenous tribes and communities of the northeast, particularly Assam which shares a 262-km border with Bangladesh.

The protesting organizations alleged that the BJP-led government's move to amend the Citizenship Act was predominantly aimed at settling Hindu Bangladeshi nationals in the northeast.

"We find it difficult to understand why the Modi government is keen to roll out the red carpet for Bangladeshi nationals. Even after the Bangladesh Prime Minister's assertion that there is no harassment of Hindu nationals in the country, the Centre is desperate to grant citizenship to them here. It reflects the NDA government's political interests," said AJYCP president Biraj Kumar Talukdar.

The protesters staged a dharna in the national capital and displayed placards against the government's move. "The indigenous people of Assam have been struggling to retain their identity for more than three decades. The proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act will further encourage infiltration from across the border," said Talukdar. He added that infiltration from the neighbouring country would change the fragile demography of the state and its neighbours.

General secretary of AJYCP Palash Changmai accused the NDA government of downplaying the emotions and sentiments of the people of Assam. "This is just the beginning. We are ready to resist the move to turn Assam into a second home for Bangladeshis. If the voice of protest is not heard, the Centre will face the consequences," Changmai said.

Along with student activists, several leaders of the Jawaharlal Nehru University also joined the dharna. Senior SFI leader Prashant Kumar vowed to support AJYCP's protest and said they would not allow Assam to be turned into a 'dumping ground' for immigrants.

Student leader from Tripura Dharanjit Debberma also strongly opposed the move and called for a nationwide protest against the proposed Bill.