R Dutta Choudhury GUWAHATI, Jan 11 - The Centre, with the help of the Assam government, insulted the non-violent mass movement in Assam by issuing the gazette notification to bring into force the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. This is the allegation of the All Assam students’ Union (AASU) a day after the Centre issued the gazette notification.
A torchlight rally being taken out against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Demow on Saturday. – UB Photos
Talking to The Assam tribune, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya strongly reacted to the Centre’s action saying that the government had shown total disrespect to a non-violent movement against the CAA. He pointed out that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma met the Union Home Minister a day before the gazette notification was issued and they must have extended their support to the CAA.
Bhattacharya said that the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the petitions against the CAA on January 22 and the Centre should have waited till the hearing to issue the notification. This proves that the Government of India is in a hurry to implement the CAA despite the movements in all parts of the country, he added.
He also pointed out that the Chief Ministers of all the States of the northeastern region, barring Assam and Tripura, took a bold stand in favour of the indigenous people of their States, while Meghalaya recently passed an Assembly resolution for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in the State as the CAA is not applicable in the ILP covered States.
Unfortunately, the Chief Minister went against the interests of the indigenous people of the State by supporting the CAA to please the leaders of the BJP, he alleged.
The AASU chief adviser pointed out that Assam and other States witnessed armed struggles for a long period. At a time when the situation is improving, the Centre brought the CAA, which may result in deterioration of the situation.
However, at the same time, he asserted that the AASU and its allies would continue the non-violent movement till the CAA is scrapped. He also said that the government has started taking vindictive action against people involved in the anti-CAA movement and asserted that such action would not affect the movement in any way.