Akhil-led 70 organisations start hunger strike in Jantar Mantar

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Dec 9: Representatives of 70 indigenous organisations of Assam, including Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parisad (AJYCP) launched indefinite hunger strike in the national capital from Sunday demanding scrapping of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

This is the first protest against the Bill at the national capital. Noted academician and politician Yogendra Yadav took part in the hunger strike. Several top intellectuals from Assam and Northeast are also expected to take part in the protest.

“We have permission to hold the portest only for today till 5 pm and talks are on to extend date,” KMSS chief adviser Akhil Gogoi told reporters here.

The protesters are determined to continue their protest even as the Delhi Police granted permission for a day only. The protesters chose to sit at Jantar Matar, hardly 3 kilometres away from the Parliament House. Leaders of the organisations tend to register their protest during the upcoming winter Session of the parliament, which will begin from December 12.

“Our protest will continue till the Union government scraps the controversial bill from the parliament,” Gogoi also said.

“We also appeal to all political parties and organisations to be united to oppose the unconstitutional Bill,” he said.

“The Bill is a threat to the indigenous communities in Assam. BJP is misleading the people of the state on the would-be impact of the Bill,” Gogoi further said.

Gogoi further mentioned that they are in talks with the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) to join their protest.

“The BJP, RSS are trying to form a Hindu country by passing the Bill. We will never let it happen,” Gogoi added.

With the Bill, the NDA government plans to change the definition of illegal migrants. The Bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 15, 2016, seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to provide citizenship to illegal migrants, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian extraction. However, the Act doesn’t have a provision for Muslim sects like Shias and Ahmediyas who also face persecution in Pakistan.

The Bill also seeks to reduce the requirement of 11 years of continuous stay in the country to six years to obtain citizenship by naturalisation.

 

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