CAA notification slammed in Assam, protest continues

CAA notification slammed in Assam, protest continues

People from various walks of life gather at the Court field to protest against amended Citizenship Act in Dhemaji, Asssam. (PTI Photo)

Several organisations in the Northeast slammed Friday's gazette notification issued by the Centre for implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by calling it an injustice and arrogant attitude of Narendra Modi government towards democratic values.

"The notification has been issued even as people in Assam are relentlessly opposing it and expressing fear about losing their indigenous identity. This shows the Modi government's disrespect and disregard to the democratic ethos of peaceful protests. This is injustice, the arrogance of power and lack of respect to people's emotions. We have no other option but to keep fighting till the un-constitutional act is scrapped," general secretary of All Assam Students' Union (AASU), Lurinjyoti Gogoi said.

AASU and at least 30 other organisations have been leading a movement against the act that seeks to allow "persecuted" non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 2014 to apply for Indian citizenship.

They fear that Assam would bear the maximum brunt as a large number of Hindu Bengali migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh living in the state would get citizenship. They say the amendment is unacceptable as it was communal and against Assam Accord of 1985 that promised to give citizenship with March 24, 1971, as a cut-off. 

The North East Students' Organisation said that the protest would continue till the entire Northeast was exempted from the purview of the amended act.

Hiren Gohain, an Assamese intellectual, who leads a citizens forum against the act called for a united protest against the act.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, while addressing a function organised by a students' body of Rabha community on Saturday said that the government would take adequate measures to ensure the protection of the indigenous communities and their land rights. He said the amendment would not affect the identity of the indigenous people as "negligible" number of migrants would get citizenship through the amended act.

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