GUWAHATI, Jan 7 - “It is a fight to save the secular character of the great Indian democracy. We will have to continue this movement under any circumstances. But, if no one hears us and responds to our demand, then we will have to raise the demand for an independent Assam.”
This observation was made by distinguished educationist and intellectual Dr Hiren Gohain while addressing a gathering at the rotary point of Gauhati Club here today as part of the ‘Condemnation Day’ organised jointly by various organisations and distinguished personalities of Assam against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Hundreds of people including former chief ministers Tarun Gogoi and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta participated in the protest raising slogans against the ruling BJP and waving black flags.
The protest meet began with hoisting of a large black flag by Dr Gohain which was immediately brought down by the police personnel present on the spot.
Addressing the gathering, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader Akhil Gogoi said, “Today is a black day in the history of Assam. The ruling BJP did not respond to the movement of the Assamese people even after a nude protest in the national capital. So it is time to take the movement to the grassroots. Maybe in the coming days we will have to raise the demand for an independent Assam, if such a situation persists.”
Gogoi said KMSS members would very soon launch an awareness drive over the Bill in every village of Assam.
Criticising the BJP, former Chief Minister Mahanta said, “The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is a legal challenge for our country. So it is time for a united movement, otherwise we are going to become minorities in our own land in the near future.”
Another former Chief Minister Gogoi while addressing the gathering, termed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 an ‘invalid act’. He also asked the ruling BJP not to underestimate the sentiments of the Assamese people.
As part of the ‘Condemnation Day’ protesters also raised black flags in various parts of the State.
Meanwhile, the Rastriya Janata Dal, Assam; Sadou Asam Abasarprapta Sikshak-Karmachari Parishad and Akhil Bharat Rachnatmak Samaj today announced their support to the Assam bandh called by the All Assam Students’ Union against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 on January 8.