Along with other parts of Assam, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) along with 28 other indigenous organizations of state, also took out a massive torchlight procession throughout Tangla town in Udalguri district on Friday evening protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
A massive gathering of nearly 5,000 people from every walks of life irrespective of caste, community and religion, spontaneously participated in the procession which started from Tangla HS playgound and passed through the main thoroughfares of the town via Tangla Tinali and culminated at Kukurakata area.
The protesters rented the air with high pitched slogans ‘Assam Government Go Back’, ‘Down with Shiladitya Dev’, ‘BJP Go back’. The programme organized by Tangla Anchalik AASU was addressed by its president Pranjal Deka, Udalguri chapter general secretary, Md Saiful Haque and assistant general secretary AASU, Jayanta Kumar Bhattacharjya.
The speakers termed the bill an attempt to destroy the identity of the indigenous people of the state. “It is a threat to our state and region. We oppose the bill tooth and nail and we challenge the government to withdraw it immediately,” said Md Saiful Haque.
“The present attempt of the central government to extend citizenship beyond the cut-off date of March 24, 1971 is not acceptable because the state of Assam is already overburdened with huge influx of foreign nationals from Bangladesh causing serious economic, social stress and identity crisis posing threat to the existence of indigenous communities of Assam,” said Jayanta Bhattacharjya.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.