Posted on December 10, 2019, 2:50 PM IST
Even as the Lok Sabha gave its official nod to bring the Citizenship Amendment Bill into a law, Assam woke up to a state wide ‘bandh’ on Tuesday morning.
The 11- hour agitation has been called on by two students' organisations in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment)Bill, the All Assam Students' Union and the North East Students' Organisation, which is an apex body of student unions in the region.
In Maligaon area, government-run buses were greeted with stones and vehicles were set on fire, sources said. Shops, markets and business establishments are on a shut down mode, while educational and financial institutions remained closed, officials have stated. Huge processions are gathering outside different areas of Guwahati, with protesters raising slogans against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The protestors are even on a rampage spree with security forces near the Secretariat and Assembly buildings in Guwahati, when they were prevented from moving forward, police sources said.
Train services across Assam went downhill after picketers squatted on tracks, they also attempted to block the entrance to NF Railway headquarters here and Divisional Railway Manager's office at Rangia in Kamrup district, he said. All scheduled examinations were rescheduled by the universities in view of the bandh.
In Dibrugarh district, bandh supporters clashed with CISF personnel. Three of them sustained injuries as they tried to prevent the workers of Oil India Ltd (OIL) from entering office at Duliajan area. Protesters have been burning tyres and blocking national highways to stop movement of vehicles in various parts of Assam. Students of Gauhati University and Cotton University in Guwahati, along with those of Assam Agriculture University in Jorhat, are gathering in large numbers on the streets, seeking immediate withdrawal of the legislation.
The bandh, which began at 5am on Tuesday will be observed till 4pm and security has been beefed up in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. Nagaland has been exempted from the purview of the bandh in view of the ongoing Hornbill Festival there. The Manipur People Against CAB (Manpac), which was spearheading the agitation in the state, had announced suspension of its stir on Monday, after Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the to be brought under Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is lead by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has effortlessly passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday night as the ruling BJP enjoys a clear majority in the House. The Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees, who escaped religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The legislation was passed by 311-80 votes in the Lower House of the Parliament.
Indigenous people of the North-eastern states dread that the entry of these refugees will endanger their identity and livelihood.