GUWAHATI, June 6 - Hundreds of people under the joint aegis of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) and the Sadou Asam Karmachari Parishad (SAKP) today marched to Raj Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to the Governor demanding immediate scraping of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The procession which comprised over a thousand people started from the AASU�s Swahid Nyas office at Uzanbazar at 11-30 am and marched to Raj Bhawan, shouting slogans and displaying placards against the Bill.
The memorandum addressed to Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi was presented through a Circle Officer who received the delegation at the Raj Bhawan gate.
The protesters included AASU president Dipanka Nath, general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi, adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya, SAKP president Basab Kalita, among others.
�The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is a threat to the very identity and honourable existence of the Assamese people, and the Centre must scrap it at the earliest. The people have presented an uncompromising and unambiguous stand on the issue and that must be honoured by the Centre,� AASU president Dipanka Nath said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which seeks to give Indian citizenship to Hindu and other non-Muslim migrants has triggered large-scale protest in the Brahmaputra Valley. The Bill also runs counter to the Assam Accord of 1985 � the culmination of a six-year mass movement against illegal Bangladeshi migrants -- which mandates that all Bangladeshi migrants who had entered Assam after the cut-off date of March 25, 1971 be detected and deported to Bangladesh.
While the AASU had spearheaded the anti-foreigner stir during 1979-1985, the government employees of Assam also lent their full weight behind the movement, with the slogan �jobs not above motherland.�
�The Assam Accord has been largely accepted as the valid document for detection and deportation of the illegal migrants and it does not discriminate on the basis of the religion affiliation of the migrants. It must be honoured in its letter and spirit,� Nath said.
The agitators demanded implementation of the Assam Accord in its entirety, including provisions for constitutional safeguards for the Assamese people. Sealing of the porous Indo-Bangladesh border and urgent steps for detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi migrants were among the demands.
The agitators also called for repeal of the related government notification and the passport order as well.
�The opposition to the Hindu Bangladeshi migrants is justified, as the Assamese populace would be rendered minorities in their homeland once the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill becomes an Act. This will negate the political and socio-cultural rights of the Assamese and cause their complete marginalization. This can never be acceptable. Our motherland is above our government jobs,� SAKP president Basab Kalita said.