NESO, AASU demand scrapping of CAA, vow to continue non-violent agitation

NEW DELHI, Jan 7: The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on Tuesday demanded scrapping of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), saying they cannot allow “illegal Bangladeshis to flood the region and rule over the indigenous people.”
Addressing a press conference here, NESO and AASU advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya accused Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of betraying the people of the state by supporting the legislation.
“The CAA is communal, unconstitutional, and it violates the constitution. We will continue our non-violent agitation against the new law till it is scrapped,” he said.
Bhattacharya described the CAA as a “ploy” of the Narendra Modi government to give citizenship to illegal immigrants.
“We can’t allow illegal Bangladeshis to come, settle and rule over the people of Assam and the Northeast,” he said.
When asked about the stand of Sonowal, his once comrade-in-arms, Bhattacharya claimed that the chief minister had become “anti-indigenous people” and was protecting illegal Bangladeshis.
“Sonowal was given a mandate by the people of Assam with the hope that he will implement the 1985 Assam Accord, under which any illegal immigrant, irrespective of religion, who entered India after 1971 has to be deported. But he has betrayed the people of the state.
“Sonowal is running a killer government. Innocent students were killed by his government. He has completely isolated himself,” Bhattacharya said.
He asked Modi and union Home Minister Amit Shah whether they would allow illegal Pakistanis to enter Gujarat through the Indo-Pakistan border “the way they are allowing Bangladeshis to come to Assam.”
NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa and its secretary-general Sinam Prakash Singh said the new law would only lay the additional burden of illegal infiltration on the Northeast, which has already taken the load of illegal immigrants from 1947 to 1971.
AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath and general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said the CAA “totally violates” the Assam Accord, which was signed to “acknowledge the threat to the identity of the indigenous people of Assam due to unabated influx of illegal foreigners from Bangladesh and to move towards a solution.”
“The violation of the historic Assam Accord and imposition of additional burden are not acceptable to us. This is the cause of the present non-violent mass movement in Assam against the CAA,” Nath and Gogoi said.
The leaders said they would stage strong protests if Modi visits Assam to inaugurate the Khelo India Games-2020, which begins on 10 January.
“The CAA is a grave threat to the identity and survival of the microscopic indigenous communities of the Northeast,” the NESO said.
The region, which shares a long and porous border of nearly 1,750 kms with Bangladesh, has been facing the problem of illegal infiltration since the time India attained its independence in 1947. (With PTI input)