Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill came in a variety of forms in Assam as the state witnessed a naked rally, a sword rally and every other type marches in between. Anti-CAB posters were pasted outside the residences of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in Chabua and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati. The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) brought out a torch light procession from its headquarters in the state capital and toured through the streets of central Guwahati.
Leading the march, AASU Chief Adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said the state will not accept the Bill in any form. Torch light processions were also organised by the AASU in places such as Nalbari town, Dimakuchi in Udalguri district and Lakhimpur to protest against the Bill.
The entire Tinsukia market, which caters to Upper Assam and eastern Arunachal Pradesh, wore a deserted look since afternoon as traders pulled down their shutters. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there.
They will be given Indian citizenship after residing in the country for five years, instead of 11 years which is the current rule. Indigenous people of the Northeastern states fear that the entry of these people will endanger their identity and livelihood.
The AASU and various other organisations have launched a series of agitations against the Bill. A group of All Assam Matak Students' Union workers held a naked protest this evening on the streets of Sivasagar town in Upper Assam.
The police, however, detained the naked protesters who belong to the 'Matak' community. In Nalbari town, posters were pasted at various places against the three Asom Gana Parishad ministers -- Atul Bora, Phani Bhusan Choudhury and Keshab Mahanta -- questioning their "surrender" to the BJP.
Bora, who is the AGP president, and two other AGP ministers had earlier this year resigned from the government on the CAB issue. However, they later rejoined the Sarbananda Sonowal government.
Police sources said the AASU and the All Tai Ahom Students' Union members allegedly ransacked the district AGP office at Chowkidingee under Dibrugarh police station. Computers and furniture were damaged by the protesters who shouted anti-BJP and anti-CAB slogans.
The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) took out a 'Hengdang' (swords used during the Ahom rule in the state) procession at Margherita in Tinsukia district and gheraoed the residence of BJP legislator Bhaskar Sharma and asked him to raise his voice against the Bill.
The AJYCP and some other local groups also organised a bike rally in Sivasagar town, while the Asom Nagarik Samaj took out a car rally from Guwahati to Chaygaon in South Kamrup.
Artistes, writers, journalists, singers and people from other creative fields came out this morning in the state capital and slammed the BJP-led government for allegedly ignoring the peoples' voice against the Bill.
At Bokakhat in Golaghat district, a cultural programme was organised by the AASU to raise public opinion against the CAB. The Dibrugarh district administration cancelled the permission to a concert on Sunday night by popular singer, actor and filmmaker Zubeen Garg who has been protesting against the Bill, eliciting angry reactions from his fans.
Official sources said the administration got reports from the police and the intelligence saying there is no conducive atmosphere for holding the concert, organised by a private company.
Massive anti-CAB protests are going on in Assam for the last several days with various groups organising agitational programmes.