University, college students in northeast boycott classes in protest against citizenship act
University and college students in the northeast on Wednesday boycotted classes in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the day when the Supreme Court refused to order stay on the law until the Centre is heard on the matter.
Thousands of students in Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh abstained from attending classes with some taking part in demonstrations and sit-in hunger strike as a show of solidarity to the protests taking place in the region against CAA since December last year.
“We didn’t attend classes on Wednesday and burnt copies of the gazette notification issued earlier this month regarding CAA coming into force,” said Moon Talukdar, general secretary of Gauhati University students union.
Wednesday’s protest is part of a total shutdown called under the banner of North Eastern Universities Students Fraternity.
The universities included in the total shutdown are Gauhati University, Cotton University, North Eastern Hill University, Dibrugarh University, Tezpur University, Assam Women University, Nagaland University, Rajiv Gandhi University, Assam Agricultural University and North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology.
“The ANCSU while considering the ill repercussions of CAA, 2019 on the masses of the north eastern states, in strong solidarity and participation, appeal all the colleges in Nagaland to observe total shutdown of the institutes on January 22,” said an appeal by All Nagaland College Students Union.
Students of Cotton University in Guwahati stayed away from classes and took part in a 7-hour sit-in hunger strike beginning at 10 am.
The apex court on Wednesday granted four-week time to the Centre to reply to the 144-odd petitions challenging the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act . While most of the petitions challenge the constitutional validity of CAA, some of them seek a declaration that the act is constitutional. The Supreme Court bench comprised of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.
The apex court also directed that the petitions from Assam to be segregated from rest and ordered that high courts should not take up cases on CAA.