Guwahati: The All Assam Students Union (AASU), which is spearheading the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Bill protests in the state, on Tuesday said that it will move the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019.
The AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya slamming the BJP-led government at the Centre for thrusting the contentious piece of legislation on the people of the North East said it will not be accepted “under any circumstance”.
“We will take legal recourse to fight the CAB. We have talked to our lawyers and we will move forward in moving the Supreme Court as per their advice.
“We will, however, continue with our democratic movement against the Bill through which the divisive BJP-led government at the Centre is attempting to polarise the northeast region…The bill will take away our rights and we have to agitate against it,” Bhattacharya maintained.
Protests against the Bill were held by the Silpi Samaj (artists society) and the general people near the chief minister’s official residence, the Raj Bhavan and in front of the student union’s office in the city during the 11-hour northeast bandh.
The Centre, he alleged, is dividing the north eastern region by giving inner line permit to Manipur in addition to Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, where it already exists. It also seeks to keep out of the purview of the Bill the tribal areas of Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya which are under the sixth schedule of the Constitution.
“The seven north eastern states are politically different, but are emotionally one unit. The success of the total shutdown of the entire north east today has proven it”, claimed Bhattacharya, who is also the chief advisor of the apex North East Students Organisation (NESO).
The 11-hour NESO-sponsored shut down was total in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. A 12-hour Assam bandh was also observed by the Left-Democratic organisations to protest against the CAB as it “threatens the existence and language of the indigenous Assamese people” with the entry of Bangladeshis into the state.
A 15-hour bandh was observed in Manipur against the bill and violent incidents were reported from Meghalaya.
Bhattacharya said the students’ movement against the bill will be peaceful and conducted in a peaceful manner.
“If our movement turns violent, the government will get the opportunity. We all have to understand that we have no other weapon but a non-violent mass movement against the CAB,” he said.
The AASU leader said the Centre is celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who had said that the indigenous people of Assam have the right to observe satyagraha (non-violent movement) to safeguard their interests.
On AASU’s next course of action, he said a ‘gana sangram’ (mass movement) has been organised on December 13 in Guwahati during which protests will be held against the Bill.
From December 14 meetings will be held in every village of the state to explain the Bill to the common people and to chalk out agitational programmes with them.
The CAB was passed by Lok Sabha after midnight on Monday to provide Indian citizenship to minority people facing religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.