The AASU and NESO along with 30 other indigenous groups of Assam on Saturday came together in opposing the BJP-led central government’s decision to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and have announced a series of agitation programmes including a statewide protest in Assam on January 7, followed by an 11-hour Assam and Northeast bandh the next day on January 8.

This will be followed by a massive road show in Guwahati on January 23rd. The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi backed the passage of the Citizenship Bill during an election rally in Silchar yesterday.

It may be mentioned, this is the first time in 10 years that the influential AASU has called for a bandh.

Accusing the Modi government of turning protectors of Bangladeshis, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said the Centre wants Assam to plunge into turmoil and that the move to pass the bill was a conspiracy to silence the state’s indigenous people.

Calling January 7 a black day when the draft bill will be tabled in the parliament, Bhattacharya said copies of the bill will be burnt across the state.

The AASU lamented that the Centre has ignored the protests of the people of the state by trying to impose the bill on it.