DIBRUGARH/GUWAHATI, Jan 18 (AGENCIES): The protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act saw a large number of villagers in Dibrugarh district donating a large quantity of rice to AASU on Saturday to carry on the agitation.
At a public rally in Sasoni circle, which is the largest revenue circle of Dibrugarh district, residents of 85 villages donated 350 quintals of rice to All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in the presence of its general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi, sources in AASU said.
AASU is spearheading the agitation across the state against the contentious legislation and is demanding that the law which seeks to provide citizenship to the religious minority in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan be repealed.
The revenue circle is the highest producer of rice in Dibrugarh and the sources said villagers donated 645 sacks of rice, each weighing 50 kg, to the students union.
“We are totally against the CAA as it will endanger our existence….We are donating our rice. If needed, we will not think twice to shed our blood in our fight against the Act,” Bidyanka Borgohain of Sukani village told agencies. Siddhi Duwarah of Kukurapomia village said as CAA has already been enacted the only option to get it withdrawn legally.
“To fight a case in the Supreme Court, one needs a huge amount of money. We are an agrarian community. We do not have money, but we have our produce. So, we decided to give it to AASU for the legal battle,” he added.
Bikash Baruah of Paniabuwa village said every family donated at least four kg of rice and all the households of the Sasoni took part in this exercise.
“We started collecting rice from January 3. If needed we will donate more rice in the coming days,” Jatin Dhadumia, a resident of Khatuwa village in the circle said.
Over 60 petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court against the Act and AASU is one of the petitioners. Meanwhile, protests against the controversial law continued across the state with thousands of people coming out on the roads to join it.
“Amit Shah thought that he would be able to implement CAA very easily in Assam, but he is wrong. We will not deviate from our stand and accept a single Bangladeshi. We will not give one inch of our land for the illegal immigrants,” the AASU general secretary said in Duliajan.
He alleged that there has been an attempt by the government to suppress the movement and efforts are being made to lure people from different fields.
“But the people of the state will not be swayed by the government tactics. The peoples’ movement will continue until the goal is reached,” Gogoi said. The AASU and the artistes’ community organised a public rally at Chandmari in Guwahati, while a huge gathering took place at Dharapur near the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in the city.
“BJP had promised to deport all illegal immigrants from Assam after May 16, 2014. But they did nothing and are now trying to bring Hindu Bangladeshis. They are dividing illegal immigrants into Hindus and Muslims. Assam is a place where people are not discriminated on the basis of their religion,” popular singer Manas Robin said at Dharapur.
The government had thought this agitation would end within 4-5 days but it is on for over a month and will continue till CAA is repealed, he added.
In Golaghat and Dhekiajuli too public rallies were organised under the aegis of AASU and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP). An event was organised against CAA at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Guwahati in which a number of speakers spoke against the Act.
In almost all the rallies, traditional Assamese musical instruments were played to foster anti-CAA sentiments in the people. Peaceful protests have been continuing across Brahmaputra valley after violent protests by the people against CAA in which three rail stations, a post office, bank, bus terminus, shops, dozens of vehicles and many other public properties were set ablaze or totally damaged since December 9.