On November 19, the students of Gauhati University burnt the effigy of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in protest of the Citizenship Amendment Bill. They threatened to take their protest to the roads if their demand of scrapping the Bill is not met.
The Indian Express had reported All Assam Student Union (AASU) advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya saying, “… Nobody is appreciating Assam for accepting migrants from 1948 (the cut-off date for elsewhere in the country) to 1971. Now they want us to take the load of 1971 to 2014 and beyond. They need illegal Bangladeshis for their vote bank. We will not accept this.”
The travesty that was the Assam NRC has not gone unnoticed before the international front. The United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said in a panel meeting that the exercise is being used to target and disenfranchise the Muslim population who might be stripped of their citizenship “without a fair, transparent, and well-regulated” process.
The Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC)—an umbrella body of civil society organisations—called for a shutdown, from midnight on Monday to 6 pm on Tuesday, despite the government’s bid to counter the agitation.
Protesters enforced a road blockade and staging sit-in demonstrations in different parts of Imphal Valley.
Classes could not be conducted in government schools and colleges because no students came in. Most private educational institutions remained closed. Government offices were kept open as the government had threatened penalising absenteeism, although no arrangements were made to help them reach their place of work.
The North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) declared an 18-hour Nagaland bandh till Wednesday afternoon.
NEFIP convener Ningthouja Lancha said the forum had submitted a memorandum to PM Modi three months ago, in which it sought the withdrawal of the Bill as it was ‘genocidal’ for indigenous people. He said that no positive steps have been taken by the government towards a pre-legislative consultation with stakeholders.
In Arunachal Pradesh, the Consultative Committee on the CAB headed by state Home Minister Bamang Felix submitted a report to the state government on Monday and the cabinet held a “threadbare discussion” on the report.
“Considering the sensitivity of the issue, it was decided to have a final discussion with all stakeholders together and forward the recommendations to MHA,” the statement said. The final consultative meeting with all stakeholders under the chairmanship of Felix will be held on November 20.
The Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisation (CoSMO) and NEFIP organised a stay-off-the-road in Shillong. Khasi Students Union, an influential student body and NESO member, held a sit-in near the third secretariat here protesting against the contentious bill
The protests were mostly peaceful, however, certain incidents were reported such as of miscreants pelting stones a on civilian’s car or burning tyres on a public bridge.
Mizoram’s apex student body, Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), staged a sit-in demonstration near Vanapa Hall here in protest against the Centre’s bid to re-introduce Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, CAB.
Leaders of the NESO-affiliate body expressed fears that the bill, if legislated, would legalise thousands of people from the Chakma community who had illegally migrated to Mizoram from Bangladesh. It submitted a memorandum to Mizoram Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai at the State Raj Bhavan, demanding that the north-eastern states be exempted from its purview.
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