After a Five-Month Break, Assam Witnesses Revival of Anti-CAA Protests

Assam witnesses a revival of anti-CAA protests amid growing coronavirus cases as thousands gather at Jorhat and other places across the state.

CAA Protest (File Image)

The nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA)had been taking the centre stage of Indian politics just five months ago and had been at the critical core of the national discourse, but the coronavirus pandemic suddenly shifted our attention to an urgent and more pressing health emergency as a nation and the protests took a backseat. But after a gap of nearly five months, it seems that in several pockets of the country people are coming back to the streets in order to protest.  These protests are being reported from the state of Assam where people are once again coming out to protest against the CAA. 

While the coronavirus pandemic has been going on and people have largely been avoiding large scale political protests due to the fears associated with the spread of the infection, hundreds of people came together from different parts of Assam under the banner of different organisations to protest against the CAA. 

The organising body was the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Paarishad(AJYCP) and the protest took place on Monday. The protestors also showed their resistance against the Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA)2020 draft that is to be implemented across the state. The protestors attending the protest said that they would not retreat unless both of their demands are met. 

The protests against CAA have been raging in Assam ever since its idea had been floated in the country and Assam also became one of the most critical spots for anti-CAA resistance in the country. After a prolonged break due to the pandemic, thousands of protesters have once again came forward to protest not only against the contentious CAA but also the Environment Impact Assessment Notification 2020. 

The protestors had arrived to take part in the protest demonstration from different parts of the state and have been raising their demands for the repealing of the contentious CAA and the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2020.

The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) had seen the participation of thousands of protestors under its organisational umbrella and the participating agitators have warned of more intense protests in the future if their present demands are not looked into and fulfilled with urgency. Apart from insisting that the CAA and the Environmental Impact Assessment be revoked, the protestors were also raising a series of other important demands. 

Some of these demands were the release of KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi who is being investigated by the NIA and is in jail for his alleged involvement in violence that broke out in the state in 2019 during anti-CAA protests.

 The AJYCP’s Guwahati unit president Pradip Kalita said “We will not stop till the CAA and EIA are repealed. It is also unfortunate how this government has vindictively kept Akhil Gogoi inside jail just to derail the anti-CAA movement.”

The protests took a massive scale especially in Dibrugarh and hundreds of protestors were also put under detention  by the police. Reports suggest that the protestors also formed a massive human chain.

The protests also spread out to other parts of Assam and reports from Morigaon sudden that many trial students along with the AASU also participated in the protest and formed a human chain.

The protest spread to many parts of Assam and people formed human chains in many cities and towns in various districts such Dhemaji, Darrang, Nalbari and Biswanath.

The other important demand of the protestors apart from the repealing of CAA was against the withdrawal of the draft EIA Notification 2020. They find the draft full of problems because it completely replaces the EIA Notification of 2006 along with the most important amendments that have been made to it since 2006.

The new draft if transformed into an act will result in major changes and have a massive implication of environmental policy in the state The protestors alleges that it undermines environmental obligations and is pro-industry, mining and construction of river valley projects.

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