Citizenship Bill: AASU calls on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI/ ITANAGAR, May 17: A delegation of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) led by its adviser Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya along with president Dipanka Kumar Nath and general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi called on Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar at his residence in Patna on Wednesday and sought his support for immediate withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. The delegation also submitted a memorandum with various documents supporting the demand to withdraw the Bill.

Meanwhile, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has announced that it would join the Northeast Students’ Organisation (NESO)’s protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Addressing a press conference in Guwahati on Thursday AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya informed that the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had said in a secular country citizenship cannot be given on the basis of religion. “India is a secular country. Citizenship cannot be given on the basis of religion in India. The Assam accord should be implemented as soon as possible as the indigenous people of Assam are facing identity crisis due to the BJP-led Central government’s move to bring in illegal Hindu Bangladeshis by implementing the Bill,” Nitish told AASU delegation.

The delegation also sought support in providing constitutional safeguard to the indigenous people of Assam on the basis of Assam Accord, to seal the Indo-Bangla border and to make a bilateral agreement between India and Bangladesh to identify and deport the illegal foreigners for Assam.

AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya informed that Nitish Kumar supported the proposal to denounce the Citizenship Bill and said that he would dash off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by informing the demands of AASU.

JDU national general secretary cum Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) member Harivansh Singh, JDU national secretary Afaque Ahmad Khan, JDU’s Nagaland president NHN Lotha and JDU Bihar MLA Sanjay Gandhi were also present during the visit.

The AASU leaders also informed that they will meet Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik seeking support to denounce the Citizenship Bill which will jeopardise the existence of indigenous community.

AASU called on leaders of 11 political parties across the country seeking support in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. They have met Biju Janata Dal (Odisha), Trinamool Congress (West Bengal), Siromoni Akali Dal (Punjab), Telegu Desham Party (Andhra Pradesh), DMK (Tamil Nadu), AIADMK (Tamil Nadu), CPM, CPI, BPF, Congress (I) and Union home minister and BJP’s senior leader Rajnath Singh, Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju and BJP’s Mangaldai MP Ramen Deka.

Meanwhile, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has announced that it would join the Northeast Students’ Organisation (NESO)’s protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The AAPSU will organise a sit-in protest at Itanagar on May 21, in solidarity with other members of NESO, in protest against the bill.

The sit-in protest is the second phase of NESO’s agitation against the Bill, an AAPSU statement said.

The Union called upon cross section of greater Arunachal society to come out to register their protest against the anti-indigenous and anti-Northeast bill.

The AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai had appeared before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship Amendment Bill in Shillong recently. He also joined the protest rally organised by NESO at Guwahati.

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