AASU begins hunger strike over Assam Accord ‘failure’
GUWAHATI, AUGUST 15
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]LL Assam Students’ Union (AASU) activists on Thursday began a hunger strike, demanding that the state government fulfill the promises made by it in the historic Assam Accord 29 years ago. The activists will continue their hunger strike till the tricolour is hoisted on Friday.
Addressing a news conference on the banks of the Dighalipukhuri, Aasu activists said they want a time-bound action-plan from the government regarding the implementation of the clauses of the Assam Accord. The students’ body said this would solve the problem of illegal influx in the state.
“Since the beginning of the Assam agitation in 1979, the state’s people have been pressing successive governments to protect their Assamese identity. As per the accord, signed with the Centre in 1985, foreign nationals who entered Assam illegally after March 24, 1971, should have left the state,” said Aasu adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya. He lamented that successive governments at the Centre and the state have not done enough to implement the Assam Accord, which he termed a ‘national commitment’.The students’ body, a signatory of the Assam Accord which ended the six-year-long Assam agitation seeking deportation of illegal immigrants, asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Tarun Gogoi to set a deadline for the implementation of the clauses of the accord. “The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi announced the signing of the accord on 15th August, 1985. Nothing has been done to implement its clauses. Assam and the northeast have turned into a transit camp for jehadis and fundamentalists,” Bhattacharyya added.
Aasu demanded that the BJP-led government at the Centre fulfill its poll promise of sealing the Indo-Bangla border, updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and safeguarding the identity of the Assamese people.
The Aasu leadership hit out at the Tarun Gogoi-government for failing to update the NRC, which, they say, is necessary to identify illegal immigrants in the state. “During a discussion with the PM on May 5, 2005, Tarun Gogoi said the NRC will be updated in Assam within two years. The promise remains unfulfilled and illegal immigrants have unrestricted movement in the state,” Aasu president Sankar Prasad Rai said.
In all district headquarters, Aasu members will continue their hunger strike till the morning of August 15.