Five months into its rule in Assam, the BJP-led government is beginning to feel the heat over the Centre’s move to grant citizenship to Hindu migrants.
The simmering anger against the Narendra Modi government’s decision to revise the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1955, is inching towards a boiling point.
The All Assam Students Union (AASU) on October 18 staged a massive protest across Assam against the Centre’s decision to grant citizenship to Hindus fleeing religious persecution from countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan.
If amended, the Act would enable lakhs of undocumented Hindu Bangladeshis residing in Assam to get Indian citizenship, which would be contradictory to the Assam Accord that deems any person – whether Hindu or Muslim – as ‘illegal migrant’ if found entering the state from Bangladesh after March 24, 1971.
Hundreds of AASU activists in Guwahati led by AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya as well as in every district and subdivision headquarters of Assam took out torchlight rallies on Tuesday evening. The students’ association, which led a six-year-long anti-foreigners movement in the state, demanded immediate cancellation of the Centre’s plan to grant Indian citizenship to Hindu refugees from Bangladesh.
AASU president Dipanka Nath and general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi in a statement said that the AASU will fight against the ‘Central government’s conspiracy’ tooth and nail.
“Assam can no longer be the dumping ground for Bangladeshi migrants. Assam took a lot of refugees during and after partition and during the 1971 Bangladesh war. We will never allow it to happen again. It will be a threat to the very existence of indigenous people of Assam,” the AASU leaders said. They further warned that the AASU will launch a mass agitation in the coming days against the ‘anti-Assam attitude’ of the Central government.