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AASU calls Assam bandh against the Citizenship (amendment) Bill
Taking a stern step after several years, the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) has, along with another 28 outfits called an 11-hour-long Assam bandh on January 8 against the much-debated Citizenship (amendment) Bill.

On January 4, addressing a rally at Silchar in Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi categorically stated the Central government has commitment to pass the bill in the current session of Parliament. The PM's such stand with respect to the controversial bill created resentment among various organisations of the state, which have been voicing against the bill. Since then, several organisations including the AASU and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) have been escalating their protests demanding scrapping of the bill.

As part of its renewed protest the AASU has finally resorted in calling state-wide shut down on January 8. The students' outfit had stopped calling Assam bandh for last several years as such protest is believed to have hampered economic progress of a region. AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya while criticising PM Modi, on Sunday, told media that the BJP has no commitment towards indigenous populace of the state. Rather, the saffron party has been trying to win in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections by playing Hindutva card, alleged the ASSU leader.

"We demand immediate scrapping of the Citizenship(amendment) Bill as it will bring death knell to language and culture of the indigenous populace of Assam when it turns into laws.", Bhattacharya  added.  The Citizenship (amendment) Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenships to those non-Muslim immigrants who came to the country before December 31, 2014 from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Earlier the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) constituted for looking into various aspects of the amendment bill, had, reportedly, finalised its report to present in Parliament in the next week after turning down a number of amendment proposals moved by its opposition parties' members. The JPC also abrogated demands raised by several organisations apart from conscious and prominent persons of Assam when it came to the state in May last year for taking public hearings in the contentious issues concerning the bill. This had also created anger among large section of people in the state.

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