In this file photo, members of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) sit on protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI — The Northeast Students’ Organization (NESO), which is the largest student organisation in the region and consists of eight major student bodies, observed a ‘Black Day’ on Sunday across the region on the third anniversary of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA.

The All-Assam Students Union (AASU), Nagaland Students Federation, All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union, Khasi Students Union, Garo Students Union, All Manipur Students Union, Mizo Zirlai Pawl and Tripura Students Federation led the protests in the states, Samujjal Bhattacharjya, NESO’s advisor said.

The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was approved by the Rajya Sabha on December 11, 2019, concluding the legislative process to provide Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, or Jains. Muslims, however, were excluded.

The amendment was criticized globally for discriminating on the basis of religion, particularly for excluding Muslims. Due to people’s fear of losing their political, cultural, and land rights by granting citizenship to immigrants, Assam and the northeastern states saw huge protests in December 2019.

According to Samuel Jyrwa, the chairman of NESO, December 11 will always be remembered as a ‘Black Day’ in the Northeast. 

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