The protests in Assam against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are still going strong. The protests against the CAA have risen throughout the country, but the focus on the barbaric nature of the Act was brought forth by the fight that the Assamese people first picked up.
Senior Journalist with Sabrang India, Zamser Ali gives us the latest developments.
BJP realizes its folly
It has come to light that now it is not only the public who knows that the CAA is unconstitutional, but the Assam BJP leaders are also realizing now that decision of the Central government to implement CAA is a wrong one.
Under the leadership of BJP MLAs Prashant Phukan and Padma Hazarika, 20 MLAs met Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to have a detailed discussion about the present situation in Assam. After the meeting, incensing statements, especially by Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in his personal capacity, caused a lot of stir amongst agitators and the MLAs meeting the CM found it difficult to even return to their homes. Phukan and Hazarika, and other members of the public are still hoping that the CM comes forth voluntarily to speak to the protestors once more to reassure them.
All over the state, protests are on. The mass Jana Satyagraha called by the AASU is still on and around 7,000 people were present at the Latasil playground for the same. Agitations are also going on in full steam at the village, district and sub-divisional levels throughout the state.
The artists in Assam – singers, writers, lyricists, actors, etc. assembled in the Assam Engineering Institute in Chandmari in large numbers to condemn the state BJP government saying that the CAA is against Assam and the Assamese people. It also blamed the government for trying to manage artists and bribe them into giving up their fight against the CAA.
The left-democratic front staged an agitation at the Rotary Club in Guwahati where thousands of people and political leaders were arrested and detained by the Latasil police. They were released later.
The Assam Sankardev Sangha, the largest socio-religious organization in Assam stated that they prayed to the Almighty asking him to grant clarity and good sense to the BJP so that they realize the implications of their actions on the Assamese public.
Curfew and Internet services
In Tinsukia, the area with the largest Bengali-Hindu population, the curfew had been relaxed in the past few days, but the government renewed the curfew on Thursday, December 19 for another 12 hours from 7 PM to 7 AM citing that the area was prone to violent protests.
The Guwahati High Court had asked the government to decide what needed to be done regarding internet shutdowns in the state. The people of Assam have expressed extreme displeasure against the same for it believes that the BJP government that used the power of technology and the internet for its campaigns, was now not allowing the people of Assam to use the same for their problems. FM Sarma had said that the cut-off internet services would resume on Thursday, but the Assam Police has confirmed that the internet services will begin only on Saturday, December 21. Sabrang India had already reported that the internet services would remain unavailable till the end of the week.
The agitation in Assam that has been going on for the past week saw innumerable detentions, police atrocities and even deaths. Curfews were imposed throughout the state, communication services were shut down and the city had come to a standstill. The protests had turned violent in some places due to miscreants and radical elements, the brunt of which had to be borne by the innocent public.
The worst hit were the students, who have now become the face of the movement against the CAA. Hostels had become literal detention camps with police laying siege on them. Male and female students were both harassed and assaulted by the Army and the police that resorted to arbitrary firing, killing many and injuring others.
The Chief Minister had not been able to allay the fears of the Assamese people and the Prime Minister appears to have turned a blind eye to the protests everywhere in the country. While the situation in Assam with regards to public order being restored is slowly crawling back to normal, the protests are still raging and will refuse to die down until the CAA is revoked.
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