Guwahati: After a gap of over two years, protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) resumed across Assam on Monday. Protests by members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), a part of the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), was held in all the district headquarters of the state amid heavy security arrangements. In Guwahati, the protests were held outside the ‘Swahid Bhawan’, the AASU headquarters.
NESO advisor Samujjal Bhattacharjee told reporters that the people of Assam can never accept the CAA and it has to be repealed. “We had to suspend our protests two years ago due to the prevailing pandemic but have now decided to renew it so that the CAA is not implemented,” he said.
“The anger against this unjust law, however, has been burning in the hearts of the Assamese people and our protests against it will continue till it is repealed,” he added. The students’ organization also demanded an end to the problem of radicalization, a permanent solution to the foreigners’ issue, and the complete removal of the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) from the entire Northeast.
It also demanded constitutional safeguards for the indigenous population of Tripura, resolving the problem of Chakma-Hajong refugees in Arunachal Pradesh, and a separate recruitment board for the youths of the Northeast. The protests were also held in all the Northeastern states.
The contentious CAA seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsis entering India on or before December 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after five years of residence here. Assam witnessed widespread anti-CAA agitation led by different organizations in late 2019 and early 2020, leading to the deaths of five people.