Why activists called for new anti-CAA protests in Assam

After the Narendra Modi government’s decision to repeal the three controversial farm laws, organizations across Assam are planning to renew protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

They have scheduled a series of protests to begin on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Khargeswar Talukdar, who is remembered in Assam as the “first martyr” in Assam’s six year agitation against “immigrants. illegal ”. Similar anti-CAA sentiments have been expressed by organizations in other northeastern states, particularly the Meghalaya.

The CAA and the protest against it in Assam

The CAA, which was passed by Parliament on December 11, 2019, grants persecuted minority groups in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan expedited citizenship. Hindus,

BCCL / Representative image

Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis were the six minority groups specifically identified in the law.

However, the law excludes Muslims and makes no provision for Muslim sects such as Shiites and Ahmedis, which are persecuted in Pakistan and other countries. Beneficiaries of the Citizenship Amendment Act can live in any state in India, and the burden of persecuted migrants will be shared by the whole country.

This has infuriated the indigenous populations of BJP-led Assam, where they have long feared they will be outnumbered by Bangladeshi migrants and settlers from other parts of India.

According to organizations like the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which led the Assam Agitation from 1979-85, and Akhil Gogoi’s Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), the CAA will turn Assam into a Bangladeshi dump.

They further alleged that the law violated the 1985 Assam Accord, which set March 24, 1971 as the deadline for the identification, detention and deportation of illegal aliens, regardless of their religion.

Anti-CAA unrest in December 2019

After the Lok Sabha Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was tabled in January 2019, Assam became the first state to reject the CAA, with the regional Asom Gana Parishad briefly abandoning the BJP alliance. When the Rajya Sabha promulgated the bill on December 11 of the same year, a series of protests resulted in a wave of violence.

New anti CAA demonstration
BCCL / Representative image

Protesters torched cars and public property in Guwahati and other towns. As police and members of the armed forces fired to disperse the rioters, at least five people were killed. Anti-CAA protests erupted across the country, although the intensity of protests in Assam and other parts of the country began to gradually fade when the COVID-19 lockdown was announced in March 2020.

Who is at the head of the fresh movement?

Several Assamese organizations, including the All Assam Students Union (AASU) and political parties like Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and Raijor Dal, have signaled their intention to rekindle the unrest. When the anti-CAA movement began in December 2019, following the enactment of the law, these organizations were at the forefront.

The AASU and the KMSS carried out protests in 2019 at the same time. The relaunch of the initiative to commemorate the second anniversary of the adoption of the bill by Parliament seems to go in the same direction. Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), a political party created in the aftermath of the anti-CAA protests a year ago, has also joined us.

New anti CAA demonstration
BCCL / Representative image

“Farmers have shown what we can accomplish by tirelessly agitating and making sacrifices. They urged us not to compromise on AAC, ”AJP President Lurinjyoti Gogoi told The Hindu. The AASU has also announced a series of protests, although the remarks are made by its senior advisor, Samujjal K. Bhattacharya, whose influence within the organization is waning.

The KMSS is a member of the Anti-CAA Coordination Committee, which includes the CPI (Marxist) and the Liberal Democratic Party as well as other organizations. After a demonstration turned protest on December 12, Deben Tamuli, the committee’s chief coordinator, said they would plan the movement’s strategy.

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