Ahead of Modi’s Assam visit, Opp parties stage protest against CAA

Himanta Biswa Sarma with Narendra Modi. [Photo: Wikimedia Commons]

Guwahati: Prior to the arrival of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in Assam for a two-day visit, opposition parties organised a demonstration in Kaliabor, Nagaon district, protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), PTI reported.

The 16-member United Opposition Forum, Assam (UOFA), held a sit-in near Kaziranga, where Modi is set to stay overnight after arriving in the state in the afternoon.

UOFA spokesperson and Raijor Dal chief Akhil Gogoi stated that the protest, initially scheduled for Saturday, was conducted a day earlier at the request of Ahom community organisations.

“The prime minister will be unveiling a statue of Ahom general Lachit Borphukan. As such, the community requested us to change the date of the protest. Hence, we organised it a day earlier,” Gogoi told reporters at the demonstration site.

He emphasised that the CAA poses a threat to the identity of the Assamese people, and they will persist in their opposition to it.

State Congress president Bhupen Kumar Borah, participating in the protest, said, “The government cannot stifle our voices. We had sought an appointment with Modi to apprise him of the opposition to the CAA in the state. But we are yet to hear from his office.”

Another senior Congress leader, Debabrata Saikia, asserted that protests against the CAA will continue.

“The government can use all tactics and power to suppress us. But the people are firm in their opposition to the CAA, and we will continue with our protests,” the leader of the opposition in the state assembly added.

The UOFA, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), and 30 other organisations had previously announced plans to protest against the CAA, which aims to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsis entering India on or before December 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan after residing here for five years.

Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier mentioned that CAA rules would be notified and implemented before the Lok Sabha polls.

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