Anti-CAA pledge in New Year's eve in Assam

Anti-CAA pledge in New Year's eve in Assam

The anti-CAA sentiment is poised to be at the centre-stage in the new year's eve night and Bhogali Bihu, Assam's post-harvest festival with many Assamese households planning to take pledges to oppose the amended citizenship law.

The ruling BJP, on the other hand announced a series of "peace and development" rallies in different places to show its strength in favour of the bill. 

The influential All Assam Students' Union (AASU), leading the anti-CAA agitation announced here on Sunday that indigenous Assamese residents would burn copies of the amended act in the fire of Uruka, the traditional feasting organised a day before Bhogali Bihu. "Since we pray for destruction of the evil elements and wellbeing of all while burning the meji (bamboo huts set on fire to symbolically burn the evils), Assamese households this time will burn CAA copies. We have decided to register our protest through Magh Bihu as the CAA will destroy the Assamese identity, culture and language by giving citizenship to lakhs of Hindu Bangladeshis," AASU advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya said.

"All households will take a pledge against CAA on the new year's eve night and light lamps on January 1 to pay tribute to five youths, who died in police firing during the anti-CAA protest on December 11 and 12. On January 3, people will stage protests with fire in hands and play traditional musical instruments the next day to register their protests. Our protest will continue till the CAA is scrapped," AASU president, Dipanka Kumar Nath said.

He said the students union will also stage protest during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit during Khelo India tournament scheduled to be held in Guwahati next week.


BJP's show of strength

In its bid to counter the growing anger against BJP, the ruling party has also lined up a series of rallies to show its strength in support of the amendment. BJP leader and Assam minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said wrong information was being spread over CAA by those opposing it. "We have clarified that no foreigner, who entered India after 2014 will be given citizenship through this act. But some are spreading wrong information that lakhs of foreigners will come. They are spreading hatred against BJP in the name of protests. But we will not step back an inch and will organise similar meetings to show our support in favour of the act," Sarma said while addressing a crowd at textile village Sualkuchi, in the outskirts of Guwahati, where anti-CAA organisations held a similar rally on Saturday.