Students boycott classes in varsities against citizenship law

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Jan 22: The students boycotted classes in eight universities and all colleges across Assam and Northeast in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on Wednesday when the Supreme Court heard the petitions challenging the amended citizenship Act.

A total of 21 universities of Northeast will organise a “Tiranga March” in Guwahati on January 26 against the new citizenship Act.

The students unions of eight universities- Tezpur University (TU), North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Gauhati University (GU), Assam Women’s University (AWU), Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Dibrugarh University (DU), Nagaland University (NU), Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) and North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST) had called for total shut down on Wednesday during hearing of the petitions by the apex court.

However, examinations were exempted from the purview of the shutdown.

Hundreds of students wearing black badges and carrying black flags gathered at the gate of Dibrugarh University and burnt copies of CAA.

Students of the Gauhati University burnt copies of the CAA gazette notification on the road outside the varsity and raised slogans against the BJP and the contentious law.

The affiliated colleges of these universities across Assam saw their students coming out of the classes and protesting against the CAA, which was heard in the Supreme Court during the day.

No classes were held at Tezpur University due to the boycott call, but examinations proceeded without any interruption.

At Cotton University in Guwahati, a sit-in demonstration was organised under the aegis of the students union, which did not call for a boycott of the classes.

Students of Digboi Women’s College joined by general women blocked the NH-37 in the afternoon.

At North Lakhimpur College, thousands of students came out of their campus and hit the roads.

Black flags were hoisted at colleges across Sivasagar, Sonari and Dhakuwakhana. A protest rally was organised by students at Kampur.

Classes at Darrang College and Tezpur College were also hit even as students held protest against the law.

Meanwhile, protest against the controversial legislation continued across the state on Wednesday.

At Dirak in Tinsukia district, several thousand people joined a protest march against the CAA.

Activists of Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad  (AJYCP) attempted to tie black flags on the walls of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Nagaon district, but they were detained by the police.

The highly contentious CAA seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis entering India on or before December 31, 2014 from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after five years of residence here.

Massive peaceful protests have been continuing across all the districts in Brahmaputra valley since Assam witnessed one of the worst violent protests by the public in its history with three rail stations, post office, bank, bus terminus, shops, dozens of vehicles and many other public properties being set ablaze or totally damaged since December 9. (With agencies input)

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