Commenting on the ongoing protests in the North-East against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Sunday, December 15, said Assam has become a 'new Kashmir'. Speaking to news agency ANI, "It is a matter of concern that the entire North-East region, especially Assam has been engulfed in violence which is certainly detrimental to the safety and security of the nation. Assam is recognised as a strategically important place for the country. On one hand, it is Kashmir valley and on the other, the new Kashmir that is Assam, both have been emerging as a great concern."
He also stated that the passing of the Citizenship bill has created disturbance and violence in many districts of West Bengal. "The essence of deprivation, discrimination has been prevailing upon the minority people of my state, West Bengal. So this has become another area of major concern. I have already requested the state government to take all necessary measures in order to stop the escalation of violence," he added.
The Northeast continues to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The death toll in Assam has touched three on Sunday, after days of chaos. One more injured protestor died in the Guwahati Medical Hospital and College on Saturday evening. However, curfew has been relaxed in Guwahati, Dibrugarh and some more places for a few hours. On Saturday, from Hatigaon to Namghar in Guwahati, locals lit up streets with candles and earthen lamps in the memory of 17-year-old Sam Stafford, who died in an alleged firing incident in the city two days ago.
Chief ministers of West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have said they will not implement the law. Congress in Assam demanded a special session of the Assam assembly to discuss CAA. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee called for a major protest in Kolkata on Monday.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was passed by the Parliament earlier this week and has now become the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 following Presidential assent. According to the Act, members of the Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zoroastrian communities who have come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh till December 31, 2014, and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.