Guwahati: A group of 18-organisation led by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) on Friday organised a massive protest at Sivasagar in Upper Assam and threatened to intensify agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) all over the state.
All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has also decided to revive the anti-CAA protests from Saturday by starting ‘Gono Hoonkar’, meaning public outcry, the agitation aims to press for repealing of the act.
AASU general secretary Shankar Jyoti Baruah said, “The government has to repeal the CAA—an anti-Assam law that has already taken the lives of five Assamese citizens including innocent students during the agitation last year. The families of the five martyrs and AASU will continue to seek justice.”
The students’ unions in Assam had launched a protest against the CAA after it was passed by Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Parliament. The protests turned violent and five people were killed. The movement was halted due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The contentious act, against which massive protests had broken out across the country in 2019, extends Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Various student groups, as well as political parties, have opposed the act, claiming that it damages the secular fabric of India and is, thus, unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, an anti-CAA forum of political parties and organisations in Assam has called for a united fight against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act. The move is aimed at galvanising anti-CAA forces to pile pressure on the BJP-led government to get the new law revoked before next year’s Assembly elections.
The Coordination Committee Against Citizenship Amendment Act (CCACAC) has also issued a public appeal for a united fight on December 12, the first anniversary of the enactment of the CAA that the organisation will observe as Sankalpa Diwas (Pledge Day).
Most in Assam are opposed to the CAA because it provides for Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan entering India till December 2014. They see it as a threat to Assam’s identity and culture and have held sustained protests that subsided because of the pandemic.
“We have decided to observe the first anti-CAA anniversary on December 12. We will not only be renewing our pledge to continue our fight against the unconstitutional law but will also appeal to all anti-CAA forces to put up a united fight against the law,” CCACAC chief coordinator Deben Tamuly told reporters.
One of the highlights of the movement will be the felicitation of the six persons who died in the crackdown against anti-CAA protesters last year.
“We have invited the families of the victims and felicitate them so people don’t forget their sacrifice. We will be renewing our pledge to continue the fight that we started in 2016 to uphold the secular character of our constitution,” he said.