In wake of the deadly novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the world, the powerful All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) announced to suspend the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the state.
Addressing a presser in Guwahati on March 16th, 2020, AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said that in view of the coronavirus scare in the country, the anti-CAA demonstrations have been suspended in the state.
“The anti-CAA protests will resume from April 1st, 2020 onwards. Our protests against the amended citizenship law will continue even during Bohag Bihu. We will celebrate Bihu and protest against CAA simultaneously,” he said.
The CAA aims to grant citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who came to India on or before December 31st, 2014.
Those protesting against the law say that the Act is discriminatory and creates a divide on the basis of religion. The AASU, AJYCP and other local bodies say that the Act violates the Assam Accord.
“From April onwards, we will stage massive protests against CAA across the state including Guwahati. The artistes’ fraternity and other organisations will join in the anti-CAA protests,” AASU said.
The AASU also demanded the Assam government to provide preventive items like masks and hand sanitizers free of cost to the people of the state.
As the deadly coronavirus continues to spread around the world, face masks and hand sanitizers are in high demand as people look for ways to protect themselves.
The Government of India declared face masks and hand sanitizers to be essential commodities till the end of June in order to contain the hoarding or overpricing of these items.
“More coronavirus examination centres should be set up in Assam,” Gogoi said.
It may be mentioned, the Assam government has decided to shut all its tiger reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and the Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden till March 29th, 2020 as part of its preparation to stop the spread of coronavirus.
No positive case of disease COVID-19 has been found in Assam till date.
The government has also suspended all permissions granted for film shootings and research works in the wildlife spots till March 29th, 2020. This comes after the Assam government decided to shut all schools, colleges, universities, movie halls, gyms and swimming pools to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Also, in order to prevent any accidental spread of COVID-19 virus in the Janata Bhawan Complex, an order has been issued with immediate effect to restrict the entry of daily visitors to 100 persons per day till March 31st, 2020.