ULFA threatens Assam govt. over suppression of protests

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The anti-talk faction of the ULFA on Friday threatened the Assam government that it would be compelled to give a “befitting reply” if the authorities use force to subdue the people’s protests against the amended Citizenship Act.

The organization’s pro-talk faction chief asserted at a separate program that the amended Act would threaten the identity and existence of the people of Assam.

“Students, KMSS and all sections of the society have come out in large numbers to protest peacefully but the force was used by the authorities in an attempt to repress them. If this continues, we will not tolerate it and give a befitting reply,” ULFA (Independent) Chief Paresh Barua told news channels over the telephone.

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) is one of the organizations that is agitating in the State to protest against the amended Citizenship Act that will grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there.

Assam has been on the boil for the past several days as thousands of people have come out on the streets to protest against the amendment of the Citizenship Act. Two persons were killed in police firing in the State on Thursday.

“People of Assam have come out spontaneously to protest against the Act and this must continue till it is withdrawn. Vested interests are trying to weaken the movement by indulging in violence,” Mr. Barua said adding that the identity of the indigenous Assamese is at stake.

Earlier in the day, pro-talk ULFA leader Arabinda Rajkhowa said the Right of the Assamese people to live securely in their own land and property have been threatened by the amended Citizenship Act.

It will “destroy Assam and we will not allow it to implemented at any cost”, Mr. Rajkhowa said while addressing the protest rally called by the AASU and the Silpi Samaj here.

Assam has a long history of struggle against injustices meted out to its people, he said.

“People in this State have been fighting for their rights since 1979. We will continue our fight against any measure that threatens to destroy our motherland,” he said.

Anup Chetia, the general secretary of the outfit, maintained that the amended Act was not acceptable to the people of the State.

“We must continue our protest to get the Act revoked at any cost,” Mr. Chetia added.

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