R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, May 30 - The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and 28 organizations representing different ethnic groups of the State have asked all their members to keep a close watch on the situation all over the State to prevent any attempt by communal forces and unscrupulous elements to create division in the society in the name of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The organizations have also decided to carry forward the movement against the Bill in such a way that the academic atmosphere is not affected.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Chief Adviser of the AASU, Samujjal Bhattacharya admitted that some unscrupulous elements and communal forces have been trying to create a division in the society and asserted that members of the AASU and 28 organizations representing the ethnic groups would keep a close watch on the situation and inform the administration if anyone tries to play mischief. At the same time, he said that on its part, the Government should also take strong action against anyone who tries to create communal or linguistic tension in the society. He assured that members of the AASU and 28 organizations would maintain restrain at all cost. “We have learnt a lot from the Assam movement and all out efforts would be taken to maintain peace,” he asserted.
Bhattacharya reiterated that the movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is not against any religious or linguistic group. It is a movement against foreigners and the AASU and 28 organizations would never allow the Government to give citizenship to any foreigner who came to Assam after the midnight of March 24, 1971 irrespective of his or her religion. He clarified that the movement is not against any Bengali speaking person but it is against foreign nationals.
Commenting on the ongoing movement against the Bill, he said that the biggest strength of the movement is that almost all the major organizations representing the ethnic groups have come to a common platform. He said that organizations like the Asam Sahitya Sabha and Sadau Asom Karmachari Parishad have also joined the movement, while, the literary bodies of the ethnic groups have also extended their full support. “We can now confidently say that all the indigenous people of Assam are against the Bill,” he added.
The AASU Chief Adviser said that the movement would continue at various levels. Agitations have already been launched in all corners of the State, while, the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) have launched movement against the Bill in all the states of the region. In the next phase, efforts would be made to take the movement to Delhi and talks are already on with the students of the region who are studying in the national capital. At the same time, efforts to gain political support against the Bill are also on and in the coming days, efforts would be made to meet leaders of different national and regional parties so that they can be persuaded to oppose the Bill in the Parliament.