NGO wants anti-citizenship bill movement to strengthen in Assam

From Our Special Correspondent

GUWAHATI: Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) adviser, Akhil Gogoi has appealed to all groups and political parties in Assam to strengthen the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Bill movement in Assam, while alleging that the ongoing consultations on CAB were just a “conspiracy” to weaken regionalism and the agitation against the contentious legislation.
Addressing reporters here on Monday, Gogoi said that with the tabling of the bill in Parliament imminent this week, every group and party in the state must unite against CAB and continue the agitation till the legislation is scrapped.
“We will be staging a series of anti-CAB protests starting from mass processions across towns and villages of Assam from Monday evening. On Tuesday, a mass procession would be staged in Guwahati, Barpeta, Goalpara, Nagaon and Dibrugarh. On December 5, there will be a mass sit-in at Dispur Last Gate and I urge all intellectuals, conscious citizens, indigenous groups and political parties opposing CAB to join hands for a united protest,” he said.
The KMSS leader further said that it would be a misnomer to perceive that CAB would not affect states where the inner line permit (ILP) system was in place or areas under the Sixth Schedule.
“In fact, what has been said is that CAB will not over-ride the provisions of ILP or Sixth Schedule in such states,” the KMSS adviser said.
Gogoi claimed that the latest amendment to the Citizenship Bill would be “more dangerous than before” for states like Assam which has areas under Sixth Schedule because “illegal immigrants would be able to buy land in areas outside Sixth Schedule, say in Brahmaputra Valley, and carry out other activities, and even vote (under Article 15 of Constitution), in areas under Sixth Schedule”.
Terming the Union home minister’s consultations with state parties and organisations as “drama”, he alleged that the element of consultation has apparently been absent as “from reliable sources it has been learnt that the proceedings have been reduced to one-way traffic with the Centre hearing the concerns but intent on tabling the Bill without any relevant/meaningful changes.”
He also took a dig at the Centre by saying that KMSS was purposely not invited to the Delhi consultations as it was a given that the main issues concerning CAB and the threats posed to indigenous people would be pointed out by the organisation.
“It is a shame that during the consultations, parties in the BJP-led coalition government in Assam, Asom Gana Parishad and Bodo People’s Front, have compromised on CAB by aligning with the BJP for their political interests. As it is, these parties which are supposed to represent regional interests, have totally surrendered before the ruling party at the Centre in regard to CAB,” the KMSS leader alleged.

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