Assam Rages with Major Protests Against Contentious Citizenship Bill

Assam had been witnessing major daytime as well as night protests against the implementation of the NRC
Assam had been witnessing major daytime as well as night protests against the implementation of the NRC Image Source - Twitter

It is indeed going to be a jam-packed day at the Parliament as it gears up to debate the highly contentious and controversial Citizenship(Amendment)Bill. Union Home Minister, Amit Shah will introduce the CAB in the Lok Sabha today. The bill is likely to face major opposition in the House as many parties from the Opposition are strongly critiquing and protesting against it. 

Congress is likely to lead the protest opposing the CAB in the Parliament as the party believes that the bill goes against the very secular fabric of the country.

The Citizenship (Amendment )Bill is scheduled to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. In response to this, the state of Assam has been witnessing major daytime as well as night protests since Sunday.

The Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal faced massive protests and was shown black flags from groups protesting against the Citizenship(Amendment)Bill.

Activists of the All Assam Student’s Union(AASU) also engaged in major protests against the CAB and waved black flags at the CM while he was on his way to attend some official state programs. Several slogans were also raised against the Citizenship Amendment Bill and its diverse implications for the ordinary people. 

AASU activists and other civil society bodies taking part in these massive protests that have been taking place across Assam feel that the Citizenship Amendment Bill is indeed a communal and unconstitutional bill that seeks to fracture the very fabric of India. 

A torchlight march against the CAB was also organised in Guwahati and other parts of the state. The protests are seeing large scale participation by ordinary citizens of Assam, activists, civil society bodies and grassroots organisations. Many protesters alleged that while the bill was unconstitutional and had a strong communal intent, the BJP was trying to get the bill passed in order to get “illegal Bangladeshi votes”. They also asked a pertinent question about how the CAB could be good for other parts of Assam and the North-East, if it was bad for areas under the Inner Line Permit. 

They said that the bill would do no one any good and was extremely bad for the whole of Assam.It is important to note that the CAB is in violation of the Assam Accord of 1985, as per which all undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh – Hindus and Muslims – who had entered the state after March 24,1971 would have to be detected and deported to their home country. 

However, the Modi government’s CAB seeks to grant Indian citizenship to those Hindu Bangladeshis who had entered the state illegally till December 31,2014, aside from granting the same to people from five other religions barring Islam from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The North-Eastern state of Assam is all set to go on a two-day long bandh to protest against the CAB. 

Students from universities across the state have come out in direct protests against the implications of the CAB and have been showing black flags to the state authorities for ruthlessness crushing their demands. 

It would not be wrong to say that huge public anger is brimming up against the CAB in Assam and the decision on the bill in the Lok Sabha today will hold immense relevance for the state of Assam as well as for rest of the country.

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