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Akhil leads protest rally against Citizenship Bill

By Staff Correspondent
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DIBRUGARH, June 19 - Nine months after Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) adviser Akhil Gogoi was arrested by Dibrugarh Police on sedition charges, the peasant leader on Monday addressed a massive crowd in the heart of the city and subsequently led a peaceful procession from the Old Government Boys� School playground to Chowkidinghee on Mancotta Road in protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 amid layers of police security.

Gogoi also administered an oath to some 10,000 people, including leaders of some 25 organisations at the Old Government Boys� School playground that they will put up a united fight to get the controversial Bill and a few other anti-Assamese notifications of the BJP-led Government scrapped.

In his typical charismatic address to the masses at the rally, the peasant leader said that the BJP-led governments at the Centre and the State are seeking to rehabilitate foreigners in the State by granting citizenship on religious grounds.

Both the governments are hatching a conspiracy to trample upon our language, literature and culture to make us minorities by bringing in Bangladeshis. If the Central Government wants to destroy our distinctive cultural identities like Bodo, Karbi, Rabha, Adivasi, Chutia, Ahom, Mottock, Chah Shramik etc., by seeking to impose one identity nationwide, then we will communicate to them that we are not with Delhi or India. We will never give up our Assamese identities, said the peasant leader.

Highlighting antecedents of Assamese nationalism, the KMSS leader said that Joi Aai Asom slogan was the creation of Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa.

�In the midst of the Freedom Struggle, the learned Assamese man who took active part in driving out the Britishers from the country, had then decided that by being an Indian, the Assamese identity must also be maintained. Though we have the national anthem Jana Gana Mana, we have our own Jatiyo sangeet O� Mur Apunar Desh, which means Assamese nationalism existed then.

So also, the great writer and thinker Ambikagiri Raichoudhury had told Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937 that Assam will not fight for independence if foreigners were allowed to encroach upon its land. A great poet Gyannath Borah had also expressed his thoughts about independent Assam in an article in 1936. The eight representatives from the State who had then attended the meeting to frame the Indian Constitution had also said that Assam would be forced to think of independence if the people and the State did not have rights over its natural resources,� said Gogoi.

Gogoi further said that the people in Assam have been crying hoarse for a plot of land and their rights are being deprived. �On the contrary, the Narendra Modi-led Central Government is planning to provide land, grant citizenship and grant jobs to the Bangladeshis. Lakhs of tea garden workers who have been in the State for over 200 years do not possess land. The flood and erosion-affected people are also crying for a piece of land, but the Modi-led Government along with the Sarbananda Sonowal-led State Government are only thinking of the Hindu Bangladeshis.�

�Irrespective of religion or community, Assam will not accept migrants who entered Assam post-March 25, 1971,� he underlined.

Criticising representatives of the tea garden community like MPs Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Rameshwar Teli and others, Akhil Gogoi said that they must pay the price if the tea garden workers are not allotted land.

The meeting, among others, was also addressed by leaders from Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Parishad, Mottock Yuva Chatra Sanmilan, All Adivasi Students� Association of Assam, Assam Tea Tribes Students� Association, Chah Mukti Sangram Sammiti, Sonowal Kachari Chatra Sanstha, Tai Ahom Yuva Parishad, Gorkha Chatra Sanstha and a few others.

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Akhil leads protest rally against Citizenship Bill

DIBRUGARH, June 19 - Nine months after Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) adviser Akhil Gogoi was arrested by Dibrugarh Police on sedition charges, the peasant leader on Monday addressed a massive crowd in the heart of the city and subsequently led a peaceful procession from the Old Government Boys� School playground to Chowkidinghee on Mancotta Road in protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 amid layers of police security.

Gogoi also administered an oath to some 10,000 people, including leaders of some 25 organisations at the Old Government Boys� School playground that they will put up a united fight to get the controversial Bill and a few other anti-Assamese notifications of the BJP-led Government scrapped.

In his typical charismatic address to the masses at the rally, the peasant leader said that the BJP-led governments at the Centre and the State are seeking to rehabilitate foreigners in the State by granting citizenship on religious grounds.

Both the governments are hatching a conspiracy to trample upon our language, literature and culture to make us minorities by bringing in Bangladeshis. If the Central Government wants to destroy our distinctive cultural identities like Bodo, Karbi, Rabha, Adivasi, Chutia, Ahom, Mottock, Chah Shramik etc., by seeking to impose one identity nationwide, then we will communicate to them that we are not with Delhi or India. We will never give up our Assamese identities, said the peasant leader.

Highlighting antecedents of Assamese nationalism, the KMSS leader said that Joi Aai Asom slogan was the creation of Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa.

�In the midst of the Freedom Struggle, the learned Assamese man who took active part in driving out the Britishers from the country, had then decided that by being an Indian, the Assamese identity must also be maintained. Though we have the national anthem Jana Gana Mana, we have our own Jatiyo sangeet O� Mur Apunar Desh, which means Assamese nationalism existed then.

So also, the great writer and thinker Ambikagiri Raichoudhury had told Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937 that Assam will not fight for independence if foreigners were allowed to encroach upon its land. A great poet Gyannath Borah had also expressed his thoughts about independent Assam in an article in 1936. The eight representatives from the State who had then attended the meeting to frame the Indian Constitution had also said that Assam would be forced to think of independence if the people and the State did not have rights over its natural resources,� said Gogoi.

Gogoi further said that the people in Assam have been crying hoarse for a plot of land and their rights are being deprived. �On the contrary, the Narendra Modi-led Central Government is planning to provide land, grant citizenship and grant jobs to the Bangladeshis. Lakhs of tea garden workers who have been in the State for over 200 years do not possess land. The flood and erosion-affected people are also crying for a piece of land, but the Modi-led Government along with the Sarbananda Sonowal-led State Government are only thinking of the Hindu Bangladeshis.�

�Irrespective of religion or community, Assam will not accept migrants who entered Assam post-March 25, 1971,� he underlined.

Criticising representatives of the tea garden community like MPs Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Rameshwar Teli and others, Akhil Gogoi said that they must pay the price if the tea garden workers are not allotted land.

The meeting, among others, was also addressed by leaders from Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Parishad, Mottock Yuva Chatra Sanmilan, All Adivasi Students� Association of Assam, Assam Tea Tribes Students� Association, Chah Mukti Sangram Sammiti, Sonowal Kachari Chatra Sanstha, Tai Ahom Yuva Parishad, Gorkha Chatra Sanstha and a few others.