After Occupied Kashmir, yet another State raises call for separation from India

After Occupied Kashmir, yet another State raises call for separation from India

NEW DELHI - Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader Akhil Gogoi Sunday said if proper respect is not shown to the Assamese people and the Citizenship Amendment Bill is passed, then "we must have the courage to tell the government that we may consider not staying with India".

Addressing a protest rally against the proposed legislation at Panitola in Assam's Tinsukia district, Gogoi said, "If the government gives us the respect we deserve, we are with the nation but if the sentiments of the indigenous Assamese are ignored and the bill is passed, then each Assamese must have the courage to say that they will not be a part of India."

The proposed legislation seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and many parties and organisations have claimed that it will have an adverse impact on the demography of the sensitive border state.

They said the provisions of the bill will nullify the 1985 Assam Accord, which provides for deportation of all illegal migrants, irrespective of religion, who had entered the state after March 1971.

Gogoi, who has been spearheading the agitation by 70 organisations against the bill, said, "We want to make it clear that if the need and situation arises, Assam must be able to say that they are prepared not to stay with India ...if the government respects us, we will stay with India or we will quit."

Several organisations in Mizoram had boycotted the Republic Day celebrations in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. - PTI