Guwahati: The All Assam Students Union (AASU) has filed a petition in Supreme Court challenging the amended Citizenship Act on Friday, its chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said.
Bhattacharya, who was addressing a meeting here amidst the indefinite curfew, hit out at the BJP top leadership for "betraying" the people of Assam.
He also criticised President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent to the Citizenship Amendment Bill on Thursday night, within days of the passage of the controversial legislation in Parliament.
"This is very unfortunate," Bhattacharya said.
"I am happy to tell you that we have today filed a petition against the amended Citizenship Act. Now our legal battle will start. Simultaneously, our peaceful democratic protest will continue till the Act is repealed," he said.
He said the people of Assam does not trust Prime Minister Narendra Modi anymore as he had betrayed them by welcoming illegal Bangladeshis.
"Modi had promised to deport all illegal immigrants after 16 May, 2014 (when the result of the election for the Lok Sabha was announced). He did not send back a single illegal Bangladeshi, instead he is now welcoming them," Bhattacharya, who also the adviser to North East Students Organisation, said.
The Assam Accord is a "national commitment" and it was discussed in the Parliament before getting constitutional validity. "How can you (BJP) dismiss it by bringing in CAB? After the Accord was signed, BJP leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani had welcomed it," he said.
Thousands of agitators came out on the streets of Guwahati on Friday defying the curfew for the second consecutive day at the call of AASU and the artistes' organisation 'Silpi Samaj' to protest against the contentious legislation.
Senior citizens, students, artists, college teachers, lawyers and people from all walks of life gathered at the Assam Engineering Institute Playground and shouted slogans against the amended Citizenship Act.
Many of the protestors, including Assamese film stars, singers, musicians, litterateurs, took part in the ten-hour fast by AASU at the venue.
AASU President Dipanka Kumar Nath told the gathering that the agitation against the legislation on citizenship will continue "though efforts are being made by the government to repress it".
"The government has brought in police officials from outside to repress our movement. But we are not afraid and our protest will continue till the CAB was withdrawn," he added.
"We warn the government not to bring police from outside to scare us," he said, adding the people of the state should be prepared for a long fight.
GP Singh, who was the inspector general of police with the National Investigating Agency was brought in from Delhi and made the Assam Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) on Thursday.
"The people have the responsibility to ensure that the agitation is not weakened by lumpen elements and by vested interests," he said and appealed to them not to agitate after 5 pm as antisocials take advantage to foment trouble then.
"We must continue with our democratic protests in a non-violent and disciplined manner," he said.
Among prominent personalities who attended the protest were several octogenarians including eminent singer Sudakshina Sarma, sister of Dada Saheb Phalke winner Bhupen Hazarika, litterateur Ratna Ojha, who made it to the venue in a wheelchair, besides several residents of an old age home who carried placards with anti-amended Citizenship Act slogans.
Assamese youth icon and singer Zubeen Garg, actors Jatin Bora and Ravi Sarma, who have announced their resignation from BJP, actress Barasha Rani Bishaya, singer Manas Robin, editors of several Assamese newspapers and weeklies were among others who were present on the occasion. Also present were Assamese film stars Kapil Bora and Zerifa Wahid.
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Updated Date: Dec 13, 2019 18:15:09 IST