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Citizenship bill row: Assam Movement martyrs families to return honour

Guwahati, Jan 10 (PTI) An organisation representing the family members of Assam Movement martyrs Thursday decided to return the state honours bestowed upon their dear departed to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, a move reminiscent of the 'award wapsi' campaign of 2015.The Sadou Asom Jatiya Swahid Parial SamannayrakhiParishad (SAJSPSP) took a resolution at an executive meeting to return the honour to protest the government's move to pass the Bill in Parliament.The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that seeks to providecitizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan andAfghanistan was passed by the Lok Sabha Tuesday."We have decided to return the citation given to us at an official tribute function of the Assam government on December 10, 2016. It will be done before January 31," saidthe resolution of the organisation, signed by its presidentRajen Deka and secretary Chandrakanta Talukdar.The SAJSPSP's decision is reminiscent of the 'award wapsi' campaign against "growing intolerance in the country"under the Narendra Modi government in 2015. Many eminent personalities from various fields had offered to return the national awards bestowed upon them. Passing of the Bill is tantamount to showing disrespect to the 855 martyrs of the Assam Movement, the organisation said.The Assam Movement was a six-year agitation by theAll Assam Students Union (AASU) and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants. It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord by the Rajiv Gandhi government and AASU on August 15, 1985. The SAJSPSP also thanked all the organisations andindividuals for their strong protests against the Bill."The prime minister had promised to deport all illegalforeigners, but instead is now making them Indian citizens," the resolution said and warned the government not to play politics over the martyrs.Massive protests over the contentious Citizenship Bill are continuing in Assam. PTI TR NN SRY