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Former ULFA Leaders Call For CM Sarbananda Sonowal to Resign, Lead Bike Rally Against Citizen Amendment Bill

A fleet of about 400 bikes, led by the former ULFA militants, made way from Assam’s Nagaon and Morigaon district to Guwahati as part of an awareness rally against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Karishma Hasnat | News18.com

Updated:June 23, 2018, 9:38 PM IST
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Former ULFA Leaders Call For CM Sarbananda Sonowal to Resign, Lead Bike Rally Against Citizen Amendment Bill
ULFA leaders, took out a bike rally against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (2016) from Assam’s Nagaon district to the capital city of Guwahati on Saturday.
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Guwahati: Pro-talk ULFA leader and member of the ‘Khilonjia Suraksha Mancha (Forum on Indigenous Rights)’, Anup Chetia, called upon Sarbananda Sonowal to end his alliance with the BJP by resigning as the Assam chief minister and embrace regionalism, retracing the path he had once taken. The platform, formed by former ULFA leaders, took out a bike rally against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (2016) from Assam’s Nagaon district to the capital city of Guwahati on Saturday.

“He must live up to his recognition as the ‘Jatiya Nayak’. We would ask him to retrace the route of regionalism. If he stays true to the interest of people of Assam, he will be embraced yet again as the chief minister. Let him give up his chair, break away from the national party, and return to regionalism for the sake of our people,” said Chetia.

A fleet of around 400 bikes led by the former ULFA militants Jiten Dutta, Antu Chowdang, Mrinal Hazarika and Prabal Neog among others made way from Nagaon and Morigaon district as part of an awareness rally.

“We want to create awareness among the rural people against this Bill. We are involving youths to lead this rally. We will be visiting the rural pockets of Assam and educating people. At least 400 bikes will be out on the roads from Nagaon’s Bhutaigaon till Jagiroad,” said Jiten Dutta.

The bike rally will culminate in Guwahati where more activists from South Kamrup, Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Udalguri and Darrang districts are expected to join.

In Dhemaji district, the All Assam Students Union (AASU) and 28 other organisations flayed the continued silence of the ruling BJP-led government by leading a massive ‘Gana Satyagraha’ protest rally against the Bill.

AASU general secretary of Dhemaji unit, Chittaranjan Basumatary told News18 that the protesting groups have decided to submit 1 Lakh letter of Intent signed by locals to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Carrying bows, arrows and the traditional ‘Hendang’, the sword used by Ahom warriors, tens of thousands gathered at the Dhemaji Kachari maidan to voice their protest. Amidst the beating of the Daba, Dhol and Khol (traditional musical instruments), protestors chanted slogans and vowed to continue the agitation until the Bill was withdrawn.

All Koch-Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) leader Manoj Gogoi said, “This is just the beginning. We will continue with this protest till the government doesn’t make their stand clear on this issue. If they decide to pass the Bill, we will launch an all-out battle against the government. The BJP talked about the Battle of Saraighat to win polls, we will end this battle.”

Protests continued across the Brahmaputra valley, with people challenging the central government’s resolve to facilitate Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Locals opposing the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955, see it as a manoeuvre to endorse Hindus from Bangladesh who migrated to Assam after 1971.
| Edited by: Parth Sharma
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