News & Information From Northeast India

Various student organizations protest against citizenship bill in Guwahati

North East Students’ Association (NESO), the umbrella organization of all the major students’ bodies of the Northeast region has started their series of agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

On May 21, NESO office bearers sat in demonstration in front of Raj Bhawan in Guwahati and shouted slogans against the bill and government.

The bill, which was stabled in 2016, endorses to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from neighbouring countries who arrived in India till December 31, 2014.

“This is a warning to the Centre. We are not going to sit idle. We are going to fight against the bill, Northeast as a whole. We have the number and we have the logic to oppose the bill. We will go to any extent to oppose the bill. We will not compromise on anything which will go against the interest of the indigenous people of the region,” said Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya, advisor of NESO.

NESO leaders have already threatened to carry out a series of agitations across the region and also in New Delhi in the next several weeks to oppose and build consensus against the bill.

They not just opposed the bill but also reiterated their demand of having Inner Line Permit (ILP) and also a National Register of Citizens (NRC) which is being updated in Assam to segregate illegal residents from the genuine ones.

The ILP is an official document issued by the government to Indian citizens as well as foreigners to travel to states like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.

In Assam, AASU has agreed to Assam Accord cut-off date for illegal citizens. According to Assam Accord which was signed in 1985 after a six-year long Assam agitation, anyone who has come after March 25, 1971, irrespective of religion, caste and creed, is an illegal citizen.

The students’ body also submitted memorandum to Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi.


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