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Protest against CAB: North East Students Organisation calls for an 11-hour-strike on Dec 10

Ahead of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) getting tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday, protests have intensified in certain section of Assam.

The law, which seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who entered India till December 31, 2014, is expected to be passed in Lok Sabha on December 9 and tabled in Rajya Sabha the next day by the BJP led government.

The opposition party in Assam and various organisations- students and civil society groups have been protesting against the CAB saying it would result in an influx of religious minorities from Bangladesh and hurt the interests of native communities. On the other hand, majority of the population in Barak Valley are will to accept the bill wholeheartedly.

Today, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal urged protesters to desist from such activities and focus on development instead. He said his government will not do anything that goes against Assam and Assamese. He said, “I appeal to all protesters to give up their agitation as no development can take place through protests. We should focus on peace and create a proper work culture in the state.”

Sit-in protests, rallies and protest marches have been held primarily in Bramhaputra Valley and parts of Barak Valley since the past week. And now, the North East Students Organisation (NESO), that includes students from seven states in the region, has called an 11-hour general strike beginning 5 am on Tuesday (December 10).

The state’s biggest student body- All Assam Students Union (AASU), has also announced a series of protests opposing the legislation.

On Saturday, AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya told the media, “Assam is not the dustbin for illegal immigrants. The BJP at Centre is bent on bringing the legislation based on its numbers in Parliament. We will not accept it and continue protests,” he said on Saturday.

Congress and the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the two main opposition parties in the state, are also protesting against CAB terming it as a move against provisions of Assam Accord of 1985.

Security has been tightened across Assam in view of the protests and tabling of CAB in Parliament. Assam Police have also urged the public not to forward hate messages and fake news related to the legislation. It tweeted from its official page, “Some mischievous elements are attempting to spread hate message and fake news regarding the proposed CAB. We request all stakeholders of society not to believe in the disinformation being spread by such elements.”

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