GUWAHATI: With the beginning of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act hitting the one-year mark and student bodies across the Northeast once again planning a slew of activities to mark their resentment against the 'CAA', it appears the movement that began last year is not about to die down anytime soon. Umbrella body Northeast Students' Union (or NESO) which orchestrated and coordinated a string of protests against the 'CAA' across the Northeast today observed a 'black day' in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the struggle against the Centre's allegedly 'draconian' law. Samuel Jyrwa the Chairman of this influential organization, says that this day - December 11 - shall be marked as a 'black day' forevermore as an emblem of the struggle that ensued after the CAA was passed in both the Houses of the Parliament.
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Here is an excerpt of the Samuel Jyrwa interview with Inside Northeast:
Q: Discussions on the 'CAA' has once again entered the mainstream. What is your organization's stand and how do you propose to oppose the Act?
The protests against the 'CAA' never actually stalled. The momentum slowed down because of the Corona pandemic and the stringent lockdowns that were enforced thereafter. However, we will continue to oppose this Act as it threatens the very demographics of the local indigenous microscopic communities in the Northeast.
Q. BJP's General Secretary recently stated that the Act would be implemented in West Bengal ahead of the Assembly elections there as a means to secure the 'refugees'. Do you think that the Northeast could be imperiled to make electoral grounds in Bengal?
Not only in Bengal, everywhere the Northeast is being overlooked and our interests are being neglected. It has been going on for a while, and the Citizenship Amendment Act is a reminder that the Northeast is yet to become a part of the mainstream and the indigenous people's rights are not taken into consideration. This is a problem that has been persisting.
Q. Today, NESO observed a 'Black Day' across all 7 States. What is the significance of this?
Every year, we will observe December 11 as a 'black day' to mark the struggle against the Citizenship Amendment Act as it is a grave threat to the identity of the indigenous communities of the Northeast Indian region. Also as a sign of respect for the martyrs of the movement, we will continue to observe December 11 as a 'Black Day.'
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