The All Assam Student’s Union on Wednesday staged a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Jorhat district, Northeast Now reported. Members of the union burnt the effigy of Bharatiya Janata Party President JP Nadda, who had said on Monday that the Act will be implemented soon.
The members of the group gathered outside the deputy commissioner’s office in Jorhat. They shouted slogans against the Bharatiya Party, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The students’ union’s Jorhat President Arjun Moni Bhuyan and General Secretary Partha Pratim Bora told Northeast Now that they will not allow the Assamese identity to be destroyed. They added that the Assamese were a warrior race. “If required, we too will shed our blood,” they said.
An unidentified member of the group said that Assam was for the native people, not outsiders. The member added that the Centre should drive out foreigners, whether they are Hindus or Muslims.
The AASU member also contested the BJP’s claim that protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act were illegal, since the matter was pending before the Supreme Court. “If this was the case, then how is the BJP framing rules for implementation as told by Nadda?” he asked. “This only shows the hypocrisy of the leaders.” He added that the students group will not allow the government to erode Assamese culture.
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At a meeting in West Bengal’s Siliguri district on Monday, Nadda had said that the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act was delayed by the coronavirus crisis.
He added that the process had resumed with gradual improvement in the coronavirus situation. “All of you will get the benefits of the Citizenship Amendment Act,” he said. “It [the Act] has been passed in Parliament. We are committed to it.”
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. It has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims.
Assam was the first state in the country to see protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in December. At least five people were killed in the state as the agitation gained momentum.