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Guwahati, MUSTAFA KHADDAM HUSSAIN: All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (in short AAMSU) has been relentlessly fighting for the cause of downtrodden people of particularly belonging to minority community. The formation of AAMSU can be traced to the well known Assam Agitation (1979-985). Towards the last part of 1979, the All Assam Students Union (AASU) and All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) started a movement popularly known as “Assam Movement” based on emotions and indigenous sentiments of Assamese Speaking people which was based on false propaganda of foreign nationals. Practically it was found that the Muslims of East Bengal Origin, Bengali Hindus and Nepalis were made targets of attack during the period of movement.
Towards the last part of 1979, a convention of the minority students of the then undivided Kamrup District was held in a char village namely Tarabari (Near Bahari Bazar). In that convention a minority student’s organization namely the “Kamrup District Minorities Students Union” was formed with Liakat Ali Khan and Makbul Hussain Khan as President and General Secretary respectively. In that convention it was decided to start organizational works for forming a state level organization of the minority students of Assam. Thereafter a delegation of Kamrup District Minorities Students Union comprising of Prof. Md. Mozammel Hussain (Advisor), Liakat Ali Khan (President), Makbul Hussain Khan (General Secretary), Ismail Hussain, Abdul Kayum Al-Aman, Devanath, Samir Khan, Muzahar Ali went to Delhi in the 3rd Week of February, 1980 to apprise the Central Leaders regarding the plight of religious and linguistic minorities of Assam. The delegation met the then Prime Minister of India Smt. Indira Gandhi and the then Home Minister Sri Zail Singh on 28th February, 1980.
Simultaneously various organizations of minority students were formed in the minority dominated areas of Assam with different names.
The then Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi met the Assam Agitation leaders on 12 April, 1980. The AAMSU delegation led by President Abdul Hai Nagori also met Mrs.
Mukhtar Hussain Khan, a promising student leader had taken up the presidentship of AAMSU in Kharupetia Conference, 1982 after Abdul Hai Nagori resigned for contesting election. Under the leadership of Mukhtar Hussain Khan, the AAMSU demanded before the Central Government led by Mrs. Indira Gandhi and State Government led by Sri Hiteswar Saikia to give Constitutional safeguards for protection security of the minority people of Assam. The AAMSU leaders deserve the credit for the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983 which was enacted by the Parliament of India at the initiative of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The AAMSU also expressed its concern for socio-economic development of the Char (River Island) people of Assam. It, thus, demanded before the Chief Minister of Assam Sri Hiteswar Saikia for all-round development of the people living in Char areas of the state. The Government of Assam fulfilled this demand of AAMSU.
Azghar Ali Ahmed was elected as the President of AAMSU in Howly Conference, 1984 after Mukhtar Hussain Khan. Under his leadership, AAMSU fought for providing Government and Semi-Government jobs on population pattern. But this demand is yet to be fulfilled by the Government.
Abdul Aziz, a revolutionary minority student’s leader was elected as the President of AAMSU in Bijni Conference, 1985 after Azghar Ali Ahmed. Under his leadership, the AAMSU protested against the Assam Accord, 1985 signed by the Central Government, Assam Government and Assam Agitation Leaders because the AAMSU was not invited to it. The United Minority Front (UMF), a political party formed in 1985 could not come into being, if the AAMSU leaders were made a part of the Assam Accord, 1985. The AAMSU was instrumental in forming the UMF as a political party of minority people of Assam which won 17 MLA Seats and 1 MP Seat in the Election of 1985. It is relevant to mention here that Section-6A was inserted in the Citizenship Act, 1955 by the Parliament of India to give legitimacy to 25th March, 1971 as cut-off date for detection and deportation of foreigners in Assam. The Section-6A was inserted due to tremendous pressure from AAMSU under the Presidentship of Abdul Aziz.
Abdul Aziz was again elected as the President of AAMSU in Kharupetia Conference, 1988 which led to the resentment among some vested interest minority leaders of Assam because they failed to use AAMSU for political purpose. Ultimately these vested interest leaders formed a Defected Group of AAMSU in the year 1988 with Gias Uddin as President. Subsequently the Defected Group led by Gias Uddin became non-existent.
Abdus Samad Ahmed, a vocal minority student’s leader was elected as the President of AAMSU in Barpeta Road Conference, 1990 after Abdul Aziz. The AAMSU led by Abdus Samad Ahmed played a very pivotal role during the riot of 1993.
Abdus Samad Ahmed was again elected as the President of AAMSU in Kharupetia Conference, 1993. But some minority leaders of Assam formed a Defected Group of AAMSU under the Presidentship of Abu Bakkar Siddique Jotder for their personal interest. Simultaneously another Group of AAMSU came into existence under the Presidentship of Mustafa Kamal Pasha. Subsequently the Defected Groups led by A B S Jotder and Mustafa Kamal Pasha became non-existent.
Samsul Hoque became the In-Charge President of AAMSU in 1996 after resignation of Abdus Samad Ahmed and He was elected as the President of AAMSU in Howly Conference, 1997. After becoming the president of AAMSU, Samsul Hoque became a doll in the hands of political leaders. Finding no other alternative, the minority intellectuals and well wishers compelled Nozir Uddin Ahmed to become the president of AAMSU in the year 1998. Subsequently, Sobibur Rahman became the President of one faction of AAMSU in Kharupetia Conference, 2001 after Sammsul Hoque. Thus two parallel factions AAMSU were in existence under the Presidentship of Nozir Uddin Ahmed and Sobibur Rahman respectively. Simultaneously another fraction of AAMSU came into existence under the Presidentship of Harun Al Rashid.
AAMSU led by Nozir Uddin Ahmed played a very pivotal role for emergence of United Democratic Front (UDF) as political party after struck down of the IM (DT) Act, 1983 by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the year 2005. Abdul Aziz (Chapar) became the President of one faction of AAMSU after Nozir Uddin Ahmed in the year 2005. On the other hand, the AAMSUs led by Sobibur Rhaman and Harun Al Rashid were appeasing the Congress for their personal interest.
Due to relentless efforts of formers leaders of AAMSU, the both factions of AAMSU led by Abdul Aziz (Chapar) and Sobibur Rahman respectively were unified in the year 2009. Sobibur Rahman and Abdul Aziz (Chapar) became the President and Working President of AAMSU after unification. The AAMSU led by Harun Al Rashid became non-existent.
Abdur Rahim Ahmed was elected as the President of AAMSU in Howly Conference, 2009. After few days, another group of AAMSU came into existence with Muzammel Hussain as President. Subsequently Md. Rofiqul Islam became the president of defected group of AAMSU after Muzammel Hussain.
Due to various anomalies in the process along with application form of preparation/updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC), large numbers of AAMSU supporters led by Abdur Rahim Ahmed raised protest in front of the office of Deputy Commissioner, Barpeta on 21.07.2010 resulting the stoppage of aforesaid pilot project. Subsequently, the Govt. of Assam constituted Cabinet Sub-Committee to examine various issues giving rise to misunderstanding among general public about NRC and the problems experienced, particularly in view of the incident that took place in Barpeta on 21.07.2010.
Two Public Interest Litigations being PIL No-34/2010 and PIL No-77/2010 have been filed before the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court challenging the Constitutional validity of Section-6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The AAMSU led by Abdur Rahim Ahmed filed two applications before the Hon’ble High Court being Misc. Case No-877/2012 in PIL No-34/2010 and Misc. Case No-876/2012 in PIL No-77/2010 respectively praying for impleadment in these two Public Interest Litigations to defend Section-6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Hon’ble Full Bench of the High Court vide order dated 03.05.2013 allowed the applications filed by AAMSU thereby AAMSU has been impleaded as necessary parties in both the PILs. Both the PILs are pending before the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court for disposal.
Writ petition being WP(C) No-274/2009 (Assam Public Works -Vs- The Union of India & Ors) has been filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court praying for deletion of names of 42 lakhs voters from the Voters List of Assam with further prayer to update NRC, 1951 in the state of Assam. Another writ petition being WP(C) No-562/2012 (Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha & Ors Vs. The Union of India & Ors) has been filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of Section-6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 with further prayer for necessary direction to update the NRC of 1951. Finding no other alternative, the AAMSU led by Abdur Rahim Ahmed filed two applications being IA No-6 in WP(C) No-274/2009 and IA No-5 in WP(C) No-562/2012 respectively before the Hon’ble Supreme Court praying for impleadment as necessary parties in both the writ petitions. The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide Order dated 23.08.2013 impleaded AAMSU as necessary parties and allowed the AAMSU to file Counter Affidavits in both writ petitions. Accordingly the AAMSU filed detailed Counter Affidavits on 18.09.2013 in both writ petitions. Both the petitions are pending before the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court for disposal.
Abdur Rahim Ahmed was unanimously elected as the President of AAMSU in Daligaon Conference, 2013 and defected group of AAMSU was being led by Md. Rofiqul Islam. Due to selfless efforts by the minority intellectuals and well wishers both the factions of AAMSU led by Abdur Rahim Ahmed and Md. Rofiqul Islam was unified on 13.02.2014 for the greater interest of minority community. Now the AAMSU is led by Abdur Rahim Ahmed as president and there is no defected group after unification of AAMSU.
Editor’s Note: Author MUSTAFA KHADDAM HUSSAIN is an Advisor, AAMSU and Advocate, Gauhati High Court.