Dibrugarh/Jorhat(Assam), May 16 (PTI) Amidst continuing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, across Assam, the Dibrugarh University students have ‘banned’ the entry of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for his alleged silence on it, its students union said today.
The Dibrugarh University is Sonowal’s alma mater.
Dibrugarh University Post Graduate Students’ Union (DUPGSU) president Uttaran Goswami told reporters that the decision to ban the chief minister was taken by its members and the university’s All Assam Students Union unit at a joint meeting yesterday as Sonowal had remained silent on the Bill and was not playing an active role to prevent the bill from being passed by Parliament.
Dibrugarh was once Sonowal’s home constituency and he was banned from entering his alma mater, from where he had started his political journey due to his silence on the Bill, he said.
“We are against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, because it is against the people of Assam. We strongly oppose the bill as the BJP-led central government is trying to provide citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis,” said DUPGSU general secretary David Hazarika.
3000 students of the university sent a memorandum to Sonowal strongly opposing the Bill and urged him to keep intact the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985.
“The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, should be repealed or Assam should be excluded from coverage of the Bill”, it said.
Assam, the students union said, “Will not tolerate the peril to language, culture, land and indigenous demography that has been posed by the introduction of the Bill.” “You yourself being one from among the students of Assam Movement, who later challenged the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act of 1983, we hope you will not allow the significance of the Assam Accord and the sacrifice of the martyrs (of the Assam Movement) to go in vain”, the students said.
The Assam Movement was a six-year agitation since 1979 demanding the identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the AASU.
The Bill will pose a threat in the job market to the youth of Assam, the memorandum asserted adding that the indigenous population of Assam will come under threats of cultural and language hegemony posed by the large number of immigrants.
The university students and AASU members took out a rally against the bill in Dibrugarh town yesterday and Hazarika along with four other students of the University tonsured their heads as a mark of protest.
Meanwhile, protests by ASSU, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad have been daily taking out torch light rallies across the state since the JPC hearings on the Citizenship Amendnment) Bill in the state between May 7-9, while the opposition Congress organised a massive protest rally in Guwahti today opposing the Bill.
At Jorhat a public rally was organised by the AJYCP, AASU, ruling alliance partner AGP, Asom Sahitya Sabha, Assam Minority Students Association, Nepali Students Union, Nepali Senior Citizens Forum, All Assam Tea Tribe Students Association and lawyers and scribes’ bodies.
At Tezpur a ‘Gana Satyagraha’ was organised against the Bill by several organisations.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.