Guwahati, May 6
A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) would be implemented in the country once the COVID-19 pandemic ended, two students’ organisations in the northeast on Friday vowed to oppose any move to enforce the law.
Iterating that the CAA, if implemented, would be detrimental to local interests, the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) said that mass movements would be organised again if the Centre tried to “impose the law”.
The Union minister, at a rally in West Bengal on Thursday, gave assurance that CAA would come into effect once the COVID-19 pandemic ended, stating that the law “was, is, and will be a reality”.
““The indigenous people of North East will never accept CAA. If CAA is implemented in the north-eastern states, which do not have Inner Line Permit facility, the indigenous people will always have to put up with influx of illegal Bangladeshis,” NESO leaders said in a statement.
NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa, its secretary general Sinam Prakash Singh and adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya added that the organization would continue to protest against the law till it was withdrawn.
In the same statement, AASU president Dipankar Nath and general secretary Sankarjyoti Baruah said Assam was not ready to accept anyone, whether Hindu or Muslim, as a citizen who had entered after the deadline set by the Assam Accord.
The Assam Accord, signed in 1985 after a six-year long violent anti-foreigner movement, stated, among other clauses, that names of all foreigners coming to Assam on or after March 25, 1971 would be detected, deleted from electoral rolls and steps would be taken to deport them.
The two organisations underlined that they have taken legal recourse against CAA, and the mass movements against the Act, which was suspended due to examinations and the pandemic, will be resumed if the Centre attempted to impose it.
The highly contentious CAA seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014 from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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