NESO, AASU to intensify anti-CAA protests in Assam

Activists of All Assam Students Union take part in a torch rally against the amended Citizenship Act. (Credit: PTI)

Demanding the scrapping of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the North East Students' Organisation (NESO) and the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) on Tuesday vowed to intensify their "broader, deeper and potentially more massive" non-violent movement against the law, saying they cannot allow "illegal Bangladeshis" to flood the region and rule over indigenous people.

Addressing a press conference here, NESO and AASU leaders said that CAA is communal, which acts as a "protector of illegal Bangladeshis". They also said they do not differentiate a person on the basis of religion, as "a foreigner is a foreigner irrespective of his or her religion".

Accusing Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of betraying the cause of the people of the region, NESO and AASU advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya described the CAA as "communal and unconstitutional" and said they would continue their non-violent agitation against the new law.

NESO Chairman Samuel B Jyrwa and Secretary-General Sinam Prakash Singh said the CAA is "only adding to the already burgeoning problem of illegal infiltration" from Bangladesh, which is changing the demographics structure of the north-east.

Leaders of the NESO comprises of eight students unions in the north-eastern states, also said the CAA has nullified the provisions of Assam Accord. "This is total disrespect and utter disregard of the Accord...This government is for whom? Is the government of India for its own citizens or for the illegal foreigners from Bangladesh?" they said.

AASU President Dipanka Kumar Nath and General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said the CAA "totally violates" the Assam Accord, which was signed to " acknowledge the threat to the identity of the indigenous people of Assam due to unabated influx of illegal foreigners from Bangladesh and to move towards a solution".

"The violation of the historic Assam Accord and imposition of additional burden are not acceptable to us. This is the cause of the present non-violent mass movement in Assam against CAA," the AASU leaders said.

AASU and NESO leaders also condemned the Sunday attack in Jawaharlal Nehru University. "Where are you? Why are you keeping mum? You tweet on everything. Where is your voice now? Where is the government?" AASU and NESO leaders said referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on violence in JNU

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