Guwahati (Assam), Jan 22 : Classes across universities and colleges in Assam were affected on Wednesday due to the total shutdown call given by students unions of nine varsities from North East on a day the Supreme Court heard the pleas on Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
However, examinations were conducted peacefully as the agitators had kept it out of the shutdown. The students unions of Tezpur University, North Eastern Hill University, Gauhati University, Assam Women’s University, Assam Agricultural University, Dibrugarh University, Nagaland University, Rajiv Gandhi University and North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology had called for the boycott.
Hearing a batch of 143 petitions, the Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the government four weeks to respond to the pleas challenging the CAA and said a five-judge Constitution bench will hear the matter.
We will not accept the CAA at any cost. We had called for class boycott today and our agitation will continue till the Act is repealed, Dibrugarh University Post Graduate Students Union General Secretary Rahul Chetry told PTI. Hundreds of students wearing black badges and carrying black flags gathered at the gate of Dibrugarh University and burnt copies of CAA.
Chetry informed that 21 universities of North East will organise a Tiranga March in Guwahati on January 26 against the new citizenship law.
Accepting that classes did not take place, Dibrugarh University Internal Quality Control Director, Kalyan Bhuyan said Usually January is our vacation month. However, examinations are going on peacefully. Students of the Gauhati University burnt copies of the CAA gazette notification on the road outside the varsity and raised slogans against the BJP and the contentious law. No classes were held at Tezpur University due to the boycott call, but examinations proceeded without any interruption, the varsity’s Students Council President Jyotish Pal Deka said.
At Cotton University in Guwahati, a sit-in demonstration was organised under the aegis of the students union, which did not call for a boycott of the classes.
We did not call for class boycott as examinations are going on. We organised the sit-in and invited all to come and join us. Students came and took part in the protest batch by batch without affecting classes, Cotton University Students Union General Secretary Rahul Bordoloi said.
The affiliated colleges of these universities across Assam saw their students coming out of the classes and protesting against the CAA, which was heard in the Supreme Court during the day.
Students of Digboi Womens’ College joined by general women blocked the NH-37 in the afternoon.
At North Lakhimpur College, thousands of students came out of their campus and hit the roads. Black flags were hoisted at colleges across Sivasagar, Sonari and Dhakuwakhana. A protest rally was organised by students at Kampur.
Classes at Darrang College and Tezpur College were also hit even as students held protest against the law. Meanwhile, protest against the controversial legislation continued across the state on Wednesday.
At Dirak in Tinsukia district, several thousand people joined a protest march against the CAA. Activists of Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) attempted to tie black flags on the walls of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Nagaon district, but they were detained by the police.
The highly contentious CAA seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis entering India on or before December 31, 2014 from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after five years of residence here.
Massive peaceful protests have been continuing across all the districts in Brahmaputra valley since Assam witnessed one of the worst violent protests by the public in its history with three rail stations, post office, bank, bus terminus, shops, dozens of vehicles and many other public properties being set ablaze or totally damaged since December 9.
(With PTI inputs)