Students to burn copies of CAA when Modi, Shah visit Assam

Express News Service
GUWAHATI: The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) will return to haunt the ruling BJP in Assam as it gears up for Assembly elections, expected in April-May.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) said it would burn copies of the controversial Act during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to the state.

During his day-long trip, Modi will address a rally in Upper Assam’s Sivasagar on January 23. Shah will arrive the next day.

The members of the AASU will take out torch rallies on January 22 and tie a black cloth around their mouth across the state on the day Modi arrives. They will observe January 24 as a “Black Day” and hoist black flags all over the state.

“Ahead of every election, PM Modi will come to Assam and make some false promises. The people of Assam have understood the BJP’s brand of politics. They will never accept CAA,” AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath told journalists.

Ahead of the 2016 elections, Modi had promised to drive out the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

“You can write it down. After May 16, these Bangladeshis better be prepared with their bags packed,” he had then said.

Shah had also asserted that the India-Bangladesh border would be sealed in such a manner even the birds from the neighbouring country would not be able to fly into Assam.

Various organisations in Assam are livid with the BJP over CAA and the non-implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. CAA will grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants, who entered India till December 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, besides Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Assam Accord was signed in 1985 between the Centre and the AASU at the end of the six-year-long bloody “Assam Agitation”. The Accord’s Clause 6 says: “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people”.

Earlier, the Centre had constituted the Clause 6 Implementation Committee. The committee, in due course, submitted its report but the Centre has remained mum.

In December 2019, five people, including a teenager, had lost their lives in Assam when the protests against CAA turned violent. CAA is set to become the key issue in the polls. A section of the protestors have floated two regional parties to defeat the BJP.