AASU, opposition parties in Assam demand to repeal CAA, plan protest across state - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

AASU, opposition parties in Assam demand to repeal CAA, plan protest across state

Mar 01, 2024 02:28 PM IST

On Thursday, the United Opposition Forum (UOF), a group of 16 opposition parties in Assam also submitted a memorandum to President Draupadi Murmu through Governor Gulab Chand Kataria seeking repeal of the CAA and its non-implementation in Assam

Guwahati: The anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) once again erupted in Assam as the All Assam Students Union (AASU) and 30 other organisations chalked out a series of protests, including a 12-hour hunger strike in all districts on March 9 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state.

 (Representative Photo)
(Representative Photo)

AASU president Utpal Sarma addressed a press conference in Guwahati on Thursday after meeting with representatives of the indigenous organisations. Terming implementation of CAA as a “grave injustice to the people”, he said that the people of Assam have never accepted the CAA and will oppose any step towards its implementation.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

“Along with the legal fight, we will continue democratic and peaceful agitation against the Centre’s decision,” he added.

Earlier this month, Union home minister Amit Shah said that the CAA rules would be notified and implemented before the Lok Sabha elections

On Thursday, the United Opposition Forum (UOF), a group of 16 opposition parties in Assam also submitted a memorandum to President Draupadi Murmu through Governor Gulab Chand Kataria seeking repeal of the CAA and its non-implementation in Assam. They threatened to hold a “democratic mass movement” across the state if the CAA is not repealed.

The parties, which are planning to contest the coming general election as a united front, termed the CAA as unconstitutional accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of passing the legislation in parliament by taking advantage of “its majority and completely ignoring the sentiment of the people of Assam”.

Assam previously witnessed violent protests in December 2019 against the controversial legislation that seeks to grant citizenship to religious minorities from Muslim-majority Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

While protests in other parts of India against CAA were about the exclusion of Muslims from its purview, the UOF is against allowing non-Muslim illegal immigrants to become citizens.

Several groups and indigenous associations feel that if the CAA is implemented, it could lead to an influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and threaten the language, culture and land holdings of local populations.

“This Act is not only unconstitutional, but it is also going to nullify the historic Assam Accord of 1985 by putting in danger the history, culture, social fabric, economy and the very identity of the Assamese people,” read the memorandum submitted by the opposition front to Murmu which HT has seen.

“...Therefore, we, the opposition political parties urge upon you to intervene in this most sensitive matter and direct the Government of India to desist from its decision to implement CAA in Assam and also to repeal this unconstitutional and anti-national Act,” it added.

Also Read: CAA rules to be finalised before Lok Sabha elections: Amit Shah

The memorandum stated that if the Centre paid no heed to that demand, they would have no alternative to launching a mass movement through democratic means to repeal the legislation.

The members of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS, a farmers’ rights body, held anti-CAA protests on Thursday in Tinsukia, Dhubri and Hailakandi districts, in which the police detained at least 10 people.

Reacting to the proposed protests, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that there was no relevance of any protest such protests and those who opposed it should approach the Supreme Court seeking its repeal.

“There is no relevance of protest against CAA as agitation cannot do anything regarding the fate of an Act passed by parliament. That can only change in the Supreme Court like it abolished the electoral bonds introduced by the BJP,” he said in Guwahati.

Sarma said that some want to make a political career out of the agitation. “CAA is a reality and it is in the law book of India, it has been a part of the statute book of India for the last two years. Those who hate the CAA wholeheartedly will also have to approach the SC. Those who want to make a political career out of CAA can do agitation. There is a difference between the two,” he said.

Meanwhile, responding to calls for proposed protests, Assam Police chief GP Singh posted a status on X reiterating a March 2019 order of the Gauhati high court that asked the government to fix responsibility and accountability against those organisations and groups that call for bandhs (strikes).

“Needless to say that with the GSDP of Assam pegged at INR 5,65,401 Crore, loss from a day’s Bandh would be approximately INR 1643 Crores recoverable from those who call for such a Bandh in accordance with Para 35(9) of the aforementioned order of the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court order,” his post read.

(with PTI inputs)

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On