Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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11-hour shutdown in Northeast against Citizenship Amendment Bill

The activists of Asomiya Yuva Mancha (AYM) staged a nude protest in Assam’s Lakhimpur to demand the scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Bill which was passed by Lok Sabha last night.

The North East Students’ Organization (NESO), an umbrella body of several student organizations in the North-East, has called for an 11-hour shutdown in all seven states in the North-East that will go on till 4 pm today.

Nagaland has been exempted from the shutdown call because of the ongoing annual Hornbill Festival, which sees a large tourist footfall from across the world.

The CAB was passed by the Lok Sabha after hours of debate and amid stiff opposition. 311 members were in its favour against the 80 who voted against it.

Several organizations in Assam, including All Assam Student Union (AASU), opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill alleging it would impact the interests of the people by granting citizenship to people from foreign nations and this would create an identity crisis for the tribals in the state.

Meanwhile, schools, colleges, and shops remained closed in Meghalaya. Incidents of vandalism and violence have been reported from Shillong. In Shillong, a police vehicle along with private vehicles parked outside were set on fire.

Manipur declared a holiday for today to celebrate the announcement the state’s inclusion in the Inner Line Permit System (ILP).

In view of the fragile and tensed situation prevailing across Tripura, the Education Director of the state, in a notification, has cancelled the exam of the Tripura board of secondary Education (TBSE) Class 10 and Class 12 scheduled for today.

Indigenous People Front of Tripura (IPFT) in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), an ally of the ruling BJP party in the state, has also been protesting against the bill. Roadways and Railways movement has come to a complete standstill due to the strike. Business establishments, shops, and many schools remained closed today while emergency services would remain normal.

The Joint Movement against Citizenship Amendment Bill (JMACAB), a platform of regional political parties, Civil Society Organizations and Students’ Organizations also called for an indefinite strike all across Tripura.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 aims to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from neighbouring countries– Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan– who are facing religious persecution.

The Bill would not apply to Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram where the government has introduced the Inner Line Party system exists and those tribal regions of Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura which are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

Members of several regional parties in the Northeast like Mizo National Front (MNF), Naga People’s Front (NPF), Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), National People’s Party (NPP), however, voted in favour of the Bill.

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