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Protests continue against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Assam
Several organisations in Assam continue to stage protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, pushed by the NDA government at the Centre.

Despite Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, a few days earlier assuring that the Centre would not take further steps with respect to the controversial Bill, without consultation with all stakeholders, yet the indigenous people organisations including All Assam Students' Union, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS), Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), in Assam have declined to call off the stir.

Rather the organisations have, reportedly, tried to intensify protest against the Centre's controversial step. Interestingly, almost all intellectuals of the state barring a few rendered support and took part in the protests. Noted critic Dr Hiren Gohain; poet as well as former DGP of the state Harekrishna Deka; senior journalist as well as editor of a local TV channel Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, among others have been trying to create consensus in Assam against the move since the tabulation of the Bill in the Lok Sabha .

In addition to this, the Axom Sahitya Sabha, the apex literary body of the state, and some other literary organisations of the state, too, have been vehemently protesting against the Bill. A meeting organised between Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal and 28 indigenous people organisations including AASU, reportedly, failed to find out a solution. The KMSS and AJYCP, on the other hand, have joined hands to stage protests against the Bill.

The organisations and people, who have been protesting against the Bill, are of the view that the language and culture of the state would face existential crises once the Bill turns into Act or law. The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) one ally of the state BJP-led government has also been protesting against the Bill. Former two-time Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who was one of the signatories of the historic Assam Accord of 1985, too, has joined in the protests. The protesting people and organisations have been demanding immediate repeal of the Bill.

According to the Assam Accord, the cut-off date of foreigners' identification and deportation in Assam is March 25, 1971 unlike other parts of the country. A petition has been filed in the apex court by an organisation from Assam a few months ago protesting the cut-off date of the foreigners' identification and deportation included in the Assam Accord. However, the apex court is yet to give a final call with respect to the petition.

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