GUWAHATI: As Assam embraces its new year, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), the influential students’ body, among others have appeal the people of the state to stand united against the ‘negative power’ which conspire to destroy the harmony of the region.

People in Assam celebrate Rongali Bihu also known as Bohag Bihu to welcome the spring and the Assamese New Year.

AASU leaders have asked the people and organizations to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, which they term as a threat to the region.

“It’s a threat to our state and region. On the occasion of yet another Assamese new year, I appeal to all of you to stand united to repeal all such attempts which destroy our age-old harmony,” AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi said addressing a gathering in Guwahati’s Judges Field where they celebrate Rongali Bihu.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was tabled in the parliament in August, 2016, seeks to give citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan in India who have come here till December 31 of 2014.

The bill, however, was referred to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) following the opposition said the bill needed more scrutiny. The JSC will come to a conclusion after meeting different sections of individuals, experts, groups.

Gogoi also slammed the BJP led central government to impose ‘imported’ culture in Assam.

“We will not tolerate any kind of such attempts to pollute our culture and identity. So, we the people need to be united and oppose such negative force,” said Gogoi. He also termed that this bill if passed will make the locals minority.

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), a powerful peasants’ body too has vowed to start a state wide protest against the Bill. KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi said that the centre has been trying to bring doom to Assam.

“We will start a state wide protest on April 20. Hundred peasants will sit in protest in each district across the state to oppose the bill. We have been opposing the bill but the centre has tactfully trying to pass it,” Gogoi told reporters in Guwahati.

The JPC has called a hearing on the Bill on April 17 in New Delhi which he asked to postpone due to the Bihu celebrations in Assam. The JPC has already met several organizations of the state to learn the demands and points.

Gogoi further said that not a single individual in Assam would agree to that Bill which endorses to accommodate illegal citizens in the state. “This bill if passed would accommodate several millions of illegal citizens which will make the locals here a minority,” he added.

Even Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) which is an ally in the present BJP led government in Assam has opposed the bill. AGP leaders have maintained that though they are with the government, they cannot agree to this proposed law.

“We have said that it’s not accepted at all. The state has already taken the burden of illegal foreigners and now under any circumstances, it can’t happen,” said AGP president and agriculture minister Atul Bora.

AGP, AASU and many other organizations have been demanding the implementation of Assam Accord which says that anybody irrespective of their caste, creed and religion who have entered the country after 1971 is illegal residents.

Assam Accord was signed in 1985 with the centre following a six-year long bloody anti-foreigners movement.