Assam: AASU, SAKP join hands against citizenship amendment bill

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Sodou Asom Karmachari Parishad (SAKP), or employees association, on Tuesday resolved to intensify their protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The SAKP’s leaders represent 4.30 lakh state government employees, while AASU is the state’s apex students body.

The leaders of the two organisations held a three-hour meeting at AASU’s head office, Swahid Nyas Bhawan at Guwahati. In the joint meeting the leaders of these two organizations have decided to jointly hold protests against the bill on 4 June, after the verification process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is over.

“Our first step will be to hold a joint protest in front of Raj Bhavan, Guwahati on June 4. Further, more protests will be organised subsequently,” said SAKP president Basab Kalita. The SAKP had earlier submitted a memorandum to the joint parliamentary committee (JPC), which has been taking public opinion on the bill, in Guwahati.

“Around 35 lakh state government employees are engaged in the NRC verification process which will be over by May 31 of this month. We don’t want to hamper the NRC update process. Hence, the joint protest programme has been scheduled on June 4,” stated Dipanka Nath, AASU president.

AASU has already launched a statewide protest along with various organisations belonging to the indigenous communities of Assam. According to AASU, the bill nullifies the Assam Accord, which was signed to end the Assam Movement, and puts at stake the identity and culture of the indigenous people of Assam.

The influential Northeast Students’ Organization (NESO) has also been protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 and asked its member organizations to protest in their respective state capitals on 21 May.

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