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Zubeen Garg vows to escalate protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
Popular Assamese singer Zubeen Garg has, reportedly, vowed to escalate protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Addressing a mass gathering on Thursday at Tezpur, the popular singer warned the governments at the Centre and the state that he would lead a massive protest in demand for scrapping of the bill.

Paying tribute to Assamese cultural doyen and freedom fighter Rupkonwer Jyoti Prasad Agrawalla, Zubeen said, "I urge the government to repeal the bill. For me nation is greater than religion. Otherwise, we will be compelled to intensify protests. I would lead the protest from front. We would not let our motherland to become another Bangladesh (sic)."

The Narendra Modi government has brought the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to grant Indian citizenship to those non-Muslim immigrants who entered India from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan before December 31, 2014 and settled.

Several organisations including the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) and individuals have been relentlessly protesting against the bill since earlier this month, alleging that the indigenious people of the state would become minority in their birth place if it turns into law. Later, Zubeen joined the protest. The popular singer had written a letter addressing Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal expressing his displeasure on the action of the Central as well as the state government. He also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sonowal over the matter. Over and above Zubeen warned the state government as well as the BJP that he would return the money that he had taken from the party for their Assembly election campaign held in 2016. He had composed a song for the saffron party's election campaign during the last Assembly elections. Last week, the singer held a meeting with the AASU leadership to escalate protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

In the meanwhile, the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, has touched every nook and corner of the Northeast. The pro-BJP governments of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram have also vehemently protested against the controversial bill apart from the BJP-led Manipur government.

Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Aapang has already quit the BJP over the bill. Similar dissents have also erupted in Assam as at least five BJP MLAs including the Speaker of the Assam Assembly Hitendranath Goswami categorically stated their opposition to the bill defying the party's dictate. The dissenters have clarified that they would remain for the greater interests of the indigenous people of the state.

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