Vol. XLIII No. 03 January 20, 2019

LDM Protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Guwahati

Nayan Bhuyan

THE Left Democratic Manch, Assam (LDM) organized a massive protest against the central government move to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 on January 7, 2018 in Guwahati. It may be noted that the people of Assam are agitating against the proposed bill, which seeks to give citizenship to the non-Muslim illegal-infiltrators rendering the Assam Accord(AA) meaningless. The AA sets the deadline at March 24, 1971 as the base year for detecting illegal infiltrators in the state. Several hundreds of people spontaneously joined the protest programme organized by the LDM Assam. Noted intellectuals, artists, eminent personalities took part in the procession besides members of the constituent political parties of the manch, namely, the CPI, CPI (M), CPI (ML), Janata Dal (S), NCP, Asom Sangrami Manch, AAP, SP, LDP and the RCPI. The agitators took out a protest procession and assembled in front of the  deputy commissioner’s office at Panbazar. The LDM submitted a memorandum to the PM urging him not to proceed ahead with the  Bill. The memorandum was formally handed over to the representative of the DC Isfaqur Rahman, secretariat member of the CPI (M) Assam. A protest meeting was also held where state secretary of the CPI (M) Deben Bhattacharyya, Munin Mahanta (CPI), Pankaj Das (CPI-ML), Paresh Barua (NCP), Guna Gogoi (LDP), Biren Deka (RCPI) and Bhaben Choudhury AAP spoke against the divisive conspiracies of the BJP led government at the centre and state. Eminent CPI (M) leaders Hemen Das and Uddhab Barman too participated in the programme.

Similar protest programmes were organized in Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Jorhat, Sibsagar, Cachar Districts. In Barpeta the CPI (M) Barpeta district committee organized a massive protest programme in front of the DC office. In Jorhat too the LDM organized the protest procession where hundreds of people participated.

The people of the state erupted in protest since the JPC submitted its report in the parliament on January 7. The Lok Sabha passed the bill the following day, i.e., 8 January 8. The SFI/DYFI and other mass organizations took out protest marches in various parts of the state. People picketed the residences of BJP MPs. Black flags were shown to the chief minister and the BJP state president at many places. Effigies were burnt by the people in anger. The SFI Assam state committee took out a funeral procession of the Modi and the Sarbananda Sonowal government on January 9.