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October 24, 2021

Clarify stand on citizenship Bill, AASU tells parties

Protection of language, culture and identity of the indigenous people of Assam and other states of the North East is much more important than the number of seats won by any political party in the elections, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has said.

The student body also called upon all political parties to clarify their stand on the move of the BJP to provide citizenship to foreigners on the basis of religion.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the democratic and legal battle to protect the identity of the indigenous people would continue all over the region irrespective of the results of the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

He said all the parties should announce their roadmap for the protection of the identity of indigenous people and clarify their stand on providing citizenship to foreigners.

Bhattacharya pointed out that the BJP-led government could not bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha because of reasons like the widespread movement all over the North East, strong stand by the chief ministers of Meghalaya and Mizoram, resistance by the opposition parties and even allies of the BJP, etc., and that was a moral victory for the indigenous people of the North East.

“But the dark clouds are still hovering over the region as BJP president Amit Shah, in total disrespect to the sentiments of the people, has announced that if voted to power, the party would bring the Bill again. He also said that though the BJP failed to bring the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015, Passport (Entry into India) Notification, 2015 and the orders on providing long term visa to foreigners have not been withdrawn,” Bhattacharya said.

He asserted that the democratic and legal battle against those orders would continue. “Being a non-political organisation, the AASU is not concerned about which party manages to win how many seats. But if the new government tried to pose a threat to the identity of the indigenous people by imposing any legislation, it will also face strong resistance,” Bhattacharya warned, saying that the BJP should learn lessons from the mass movement launched by the people of the North East against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

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