Protests against Citizenship Bill continue in Assam
Guwahati, Jan 11: The protests over the Citizenship Bill gathered momentum in Assam on Friday with the students of IIT-Guwahati joining the stir and the students of another college warning that the chief minister’s convoy would not be allowed to ply on a main thoroughfare of the city.
Students demonstrating in front of the Gauhati Commerce College on Radha Govinda Baruah Road told reporters, “We have banned Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from travelling on R G Baruah road.
“The moment we see their convoy, we will block the road and not allow their cars to move.”
The “ban” would continue till the bill was scrapped, they said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to the non-Muslims who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.
In Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s home constituency of Majuli, volunteers of the “Asomiya Yuba Mancha” tonsured their head, while National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) activists also protested against the bill.
The students of the premier Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati assembled in front of the institute’s main gate on Thursday evening, sporting a black cloth on their faces and holding placards condemning the bill.
The students, most of whom are from outside the state, said they joined the stir as the Assam Accord 1985, signed among the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), the Centre and the Assam government at the end of a six-year-long anti-foreigners agitation, had promised an IIT in the state.
“The bloodshed of the martyrs of the Assam Movement will not go in vain,” they said.
However, students of the Assam University in Silchar came out in support of the bill.
Holding placards and the national flag, the students of the university in the Barak valley assembled in front of the university’s main gate on Thursday night, raising slogans in support of the bill.
A banner was put up in front of the gate which read, “We support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.”
Meanwhile, students of the Gauhati University and colleges in the Brahmaputra valley protested against the bill and the police detained hundreds of students who had gathered at the Ighalipukhuri area of Guwahati and other places in the state on Thursday.
Students burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sonowal at various places on Thursday. They also decided to boycott their classes indefinitely if the bill was not withdrawn by the Centre.
Lawyers across the state also protested against the bill on Friday.