Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, Jan 12 - A host of intellectuals protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 appealed to the people to maintain the democratic and peaceful character of the ongoing mass movement.
Members of Pratibandhi Suraksha Sanstha, Assam joined by others, taking out a rally against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Guwahati on Saturday. – AT Photo
The statement was signed by 22 intellectuals including Dr Hiren Gohain, Harekrishna Deka, Prof Udayaditya Bharali, Haidar Hussain, Jahnu Barua, Jyotiprasad Saikia, Dr Dinesh Baishya, Ajit Bhuyan, Abdul Mannan, Holiram Terang and Manjit Mahanta.
The signatories said a few stray incidents of vandalism at BJP offices and other places by miscreants would send a wrong signal about the State to the rest of the country.
“Such untoward acts are likely to be caused by vested interests at the behest of the ruling party to derail the peaceful protests. So, we urge all concerned to be on guard and also to exercise restraint in voicing protests against the bill,” it said.
The statement further said by trying to impose the “unconstitutional Bill” on the people of Assam, the BJP government driven by its narrow Hindutva agenda was using divisive tactics to create enmity among the Assamese and the Bengali populace, besides sowing the seeds of division among different tribal communities.
“The singular aim of the movement is to oppose unequivocally the contentious Bill which will destroy Assam,” it added.
Meanwhile, the Pratibandhi Suraksha Sanstha, Assam has opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 saying that it is a threat to the very existence of the Assamese people.
“Though there is no protest against this anti-indigenous Bill from the leaders who were supposed to protect the interest of the Assamese people, we will continue to fight against this decision of the Union government till the Bill is scrapped,” the organisation said.
The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Parishad has also criticised the BJP-led Union government for imposing the Bill, despite widespread protests against it in Assam and the NE.