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NESO, AASU demand scrapping of CAA; vow to continue non-violent agitation
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   1/7/2020 6:38:00 PM

(Eds: Updating with details)

New Delhi, Jan 7 (PTI)
The North East Students' Organisation (NESO) and the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) on Tuesday demanded scrapping of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying they cannot allow "illegal Bangladeshis" to flood the region and rule over indigenous people.

Addressing a press conference here, NESO and AASU advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya accused Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of betraying the people of the state by supporting the newly-enacted legislation.

"The CAA is communal, unconstitutional and it violates the Constitution. We will continue our non-violent agitation against the new law till it is scrapped," he said.

Bhattacharya said the CAA is a "ploy" of the Narendra Modi government to give citizenship to illegal immigrants.

"We can't allow illegal Bangladeshis to come, settle and rule over the people of Assam and the Northeast," he said.

Asked about the stand of Sonowal, his once comrade-in-arms, Bhattacharya claimed the chief minister has become "anti-indigenous people" and protecting the illegal Bangladeshis.

"Sonowal was given a mandate by the people of Assam with the hope that he will implement the 1985 Assam Accord under which any illegal immigrant, irrespective of religion, who entered India after 1971 has to be deported. But he has betrayed the people of the state.

"Sonowal is running a killer government. Innocent students were killed by his government. He has completely isolated himself," he said.

According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but be given Indian citizenship.

Bhattacharya asked Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah whether they will allow illegal Pakistanis to enter Gujarat through Indo-Pakistan border "the way they are allowing Bangladeshis to come to Assam".

NESO Chairman Samuel B Jyrwa and Secretary-General Sinam Prakash Singh said the new law will only give the additional burden of illegal infiltration on the Northeast, which has already taken the load of illegal immigrants from 1947 to 1971.

AASU President Dipanka Kumar Nath and General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said the CAA "totally violates" the Assam Accord, which was signed to "acknowledge the threat to the identity of the indigenous people of Assam due to unabated influx of illegal foreigners from Bangladesh and to move towards a solution".

"The violation of the historic Assam Accord and imposition of additional burden are not acceptable to us. This is the cause of the present non-violent mass movement in Assam against the CAA," Nath and Gogoi said.

The leaders said they would stage strong protests if Modi visits Assam to inaugurate the Khelo India Games 2020 beginning January 10.