GUWAHATI, Dec 11 - With the completion of one year of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 today, protests staged across Assam and other northeastern states against the controversial legislation with several organisations including the All Assam Students� Union (AASU), North East Students� Organisation (NESO), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) taking to streets, demanding the repeal of the Act.
The first anniversary of CAA was observed as �black day� across the northeastern region by the NESO. The student bodies of the region also warned the Centre that the entire NE is united against the Act and any attempt to impose it on these states will be strongly opposed.
The protesters displayed black flags and shouted slogans against the Act in public places, demanding its repeal and terming it unconstitutional, communal, anti-indigenous and anti-NE.
Amid protests by several organisations in the region and a series of agitations launched by the AASU in Assam, the Rajya Sabha on December 11, 2019, passed the CAA. Earlier on December 9, 2019, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was tabled and passed in the Lok Sabha�s Winter Session and then it got President Ram Nath Kovind�s signature on December 12.
The NESO on December 10, 2019, had called for a NE shutdown in protest against the CAB to put a united fight against the Bill. Passing of the Bill in Parliament on the next day triggered massive and spontaneous protests in Assam and various parts of the NE.
�The Central government tried to divide the NE states during the anti-CAA protest by excluding the states having inner line permit (ILP) and the Sixth Schedule areas. However, in subsequent days, the people of NE showed that no such attempts to divide the NE would be successful. Though the pandemic and subsequent lockdown affected the anti-CAA protest to some extent, the movement has been revived once again, and we will not stop till this legislation is repealed,� NESO president Samuel Jyrwa said.
At the call of NESO, AASU units across the State waved black flags and observed black day against the CAA. The All Arunachal Pradesh Students� Union, Karbi Students� Union, Garo Students� Union, Naga Students� Federation, Mizo Jirlai Pawl, Twipra Students� Federation and All Manipur Students� Union also observed the black day in their respective states.
�The Union government has numbers in its favour to get any legislation passed in the Parliament. However, the people of North East will not accept such forceful implementation of anti-indigenous legislation that has religion as the criteria for citizenship,� NESO advisor Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya stated.
The KMSS along with 18 other indigenous organisations launched a massive protest in Sivasagar against the issue and also demanded the release of jailed KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi. A memorandum was submitted to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for Gogoi�s release.
�The second phase of anti-CAA agitation has been launched by KMSS and 18 other organisations, and it will continue till our demands are fulfilled. Today�s protest had witnessed spontaneous public participation,� KMSS general secretary Dhairjya Konwar stated.
On the other hand, the AJYCP also organised anti-CAA processions across the State. The youth body which played a prominent role in anti-CAA protest after the enactment of CAA and is also fighting for the ILP provision for Assam said the mass movement will continue till the Act is repealed.