GUWAHATI, Dec 12 - �The mass movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) has not ended. It lost pace due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is clear that we will never accept implementation of the Act,� singer Zubeen Garg said, addressing the �Gana Hungkar� mass protest here on Saturday. The event was organised by the All Guwahati Students� Union and the artiste fraternity of Assam in association with the people of Hatigaon area at the Hatigaon High School premises. Last year on this day, 17-year-old Sam Stafford had lost his life at Hatigaon when security personnel opened fire at an anti-CAA march.
Zubeen Garg urged the Central government to sit for talks with the agitators. He stated that the people of Assam would always stand by the families of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the anti-CAA movement. Led by the AASU, organisations representing various indigenous groups on Saturday organised massive �Gana Hungkar� demonstrations across the State against the CAA.
Speaking on the occasion, newly-elected general secretary of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) Sankor Jyoti Baruah said, �The people of Assam will never sell their conscience in exchange for some freebies doled out by the government. They are not fools. We warn the State government against underestimating the people. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the anti-CAA movement got disrupted to some extent, but we will resume it with new vigour very soon.�
He said that during the anti-CAA movement, the people of Assam proved that they could overcome any obstacle to safeguard their interests.
North East Students� Organisation (NESO) advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya demanded that the State government carry out a probe by a judge of the Gauhati High Court into the killing of the five youths during the anti-CAA movement. �On this day last year, the people of Assam showed their strength by defying the curfew in protest against the CAA. The movement does not end here. Protests in the fields and on the streets will continue parallelly against the Act,� he said.
He announced that AASU will take responsibility to give a new lease of life to those who became disabled due to bullet injuries during the protests.
In the meeting, actress Barsha Rani Bishaya said there was a need to continue both the legal fight and mass protests on the street against the CAA. �I am optimistic that the Supreme Court will scrap the CAA soon,� she said.
Advocate Satyen Sarma in his speech asserted that the BJP-led government will never achieve success while dividing the people of Assam in the name of religion. He said that slogans like �Potharo Amar, Bojaro Amar� coined by the government will not be able to stop the movement. Advocate Nekibur Zaman also called for a united movement against the CAA.
AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath, singer Manisha Hazarika and fashion designer Garima Saikia Garg, among others, also spoke on the occasion.
The event started with a tribute to the martyrs of the anti-CAA movement, where the family members of Sam Stafford also took part.
AASU general secretary Sankor Jyoti Baruah also felicitated Rajen Medhi and Nazmin Afroz who were seriously injured during the anti-CAA movement on December 12 last year in Hatigaon area.
At the end, AASU members and the other participants raised slogans against the CAA by beating nagara and dhol and playing other ethnic musical instruments.
Meanwhile, the Coordination Committee Against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act also organised a programme on Saturday at the Lakhidhar Bora Kshetra, where the family members of the anti-CAA movement martyrs were felicitated.