Anti-CAA Protests resume in Assam; Agitators demand repeal of law, release of activist Akhil Gogoi


PTI, Dec 11, 2020, 7:46 PM IST

Fresh agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was launched by 18 organisations in Assam on Friday demanding repeal of the legislation and release of jailed KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi who was taken into custody during the protests last year. Protest rallies were taken out across the state by the organisations, including Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMM), All Assam Students Union (AASU), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad, Lachit Sena, besides students, and youth organisations of ethnic communities.

The agitation began from Sivasagar, where it was launched last year before it was halted due to COVID-19 pandemic. Mentioning that the CAA was against the identity, language and cultural heritage of the indigenous people of the state, the protestors were demanding that the act be rolled back.

They were also seeking immediate release of KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi. Addressing the rallies, leaders of the organisations said, the people will give a “fitting reply” to the BJP-led dispensation in Assam in the Assembly elections for allegedly “betraying the people by imposing the CAA upon them despite protests, since its introduction in Parliament till its enactment”.

The state Assembly polls are due in March-April next year. The AASU, that had launched the six-year long anti- foreigners Assam Movement (1979-1985), has called for a ‘Rono Hungkar’ (clarion call for war against CAA) from Saturday on the first ‘anniversary’ of the anti-CAA agitation.

The AASU hoisted black flag at its headquarters here and displayed such flags in seven northeast states under aegis of the North East Students Organisation demanding roll back of the CAA, AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya told reporters. “The government has to repeal the anti-Assam law that has claimed the lives of five Assamese citizens, including innocent students. The families of the deceased people and the AASU will continue to seek justice,” an AASU press release, issued jointly by its president Dipanka Kumar Nath and general secretary Shankar Jyoti Baruah, said.

Five persons had lost their lives during the anti-CAA protests in Guwahati last year. The objective of the CAA is to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities — Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian — from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan People from these communities who had come to India till December 31, 2014 due to religious persecution in these countries will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

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