Guwahati: The death toll from bloody clashes sparked by controversial citizenship law has risen to six in north-east India as protesters vow to continue demonstrations. Demanding revocation of the law, the Assamese along with other Indians, protested against the Citizenship Amendment Bill outside the Indian High Commission in London.
“We hope to raise awareness against the law at the global platform and also show solidarity with friends and families back home,” said Karuna Sagar Das, a prominent face in the expat community in London.
Carrying white and red cotton hand-woven towels, with slogans like ”No CAB”, ”We oppose CAB”, ”Stop CAA”, University students and professionals participated in the protest that was organized by Facebook group ”Assamese in UK” on Saturday.
“All Assamese are united against the law and we are also in solidarity with them. We cannot accept a law that threatens our language and culture,” said an Assamese research student of London School of Economics (LSE) as reported by PTI.
Protest in Hyderabad:
In the same approach, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Looitporia-Hyderabad Assam Association staged demonstrations at Dharna Chowk, Lower Tank Bund, Indira Park on Sunday.
Around 500 to 600 people gathered at the Chowk. Chandan Thakur, president of the association, said, “We already have the Assam Accord which says that immigrants coming into Assam after 1971 will be identified and deported. The CAA is violating that accord.”
“Our protest is different from that of others in the country. Our protests are not based on religion. People who speak the Assamese are already a minority. It has reduced by 10 percent according to the Census. In contrast, those who speak the Sylhet dialect of Bengali have increased by 10 percent. This is a threat to Assamese culture and demography. Our protest is against this,” Thakur added.
Maulana Naseeruddin, a protestor, said that “CAA should withdraw immediately. Agitations will continue until the act is withdrawn”
MBT spokesperson Amjed Ullah Khan said, “We Muslims are the people who participated in the freedom struggle and upheld secularism in the country. Our religion teaches us to save our country and its Constitution.”
Protest in Mumbai:
With around 500 members of the Assamese community, Azad Maidan in Mumbai too witnessed protest against the bill on Saturday.
“The humongous number of people, be it Hindu or Muslim, receiving citizenship will mean an enormous increase in the burden on the state’s resources and will also dilute the state’s distinctive culture,” said a student protester. The protesters demanded that their major concerns about the current situation in Assam be heard and understood.
Protest in Pune:
‘LUIT- The Assamese Society of Pune’, planned to protest against the act on December 15 at 4 pm outside the main gate of Fergusson College. ASOMI- The Cultural Essence, a registered Assamese association which represents all communities of Assam in Pune said at a press conference on Saturday that reception and apprehension towards this Act are very different in Assam from other states in the country. According to the organization, there are 20,000 Assamese residing in Pune.
However, the protest canceled a day before the event after the Pune police withdrew its permission to stage it.
“Given how the protests against CAA have turned out in other parts of the country, it could have caused a potential law and order situation in the city as well, if we had allowed the protest to take place. To avoid the situation, the permission was denied as till now, the city has not faced any violence due to CAA,” said senior police inspector Dipak Lagad of the Deccan police station, as reported by Hindustan Times.