Other States

Call for northeast shutdown against Citizenship Bill

At least 30 indigenous groups, including the North East Students’ Organisation, have called an 11-hour shutdown on Tuesday to protest the Narendra Modi government’s move to have the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, passed in the Parliament.

The Bill seeks to legalise the stay of non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who migrated to India till December 31, 2014 allegedly due to religious persecution. Most indigenous groups in the North East fear this Bill, if passed, would make the region — particularly Assam — a dumping ground for migrants.

“This Bill is unacceptable, and the shutdown call is to let the Centre know they cannot come out with a regulation that threatens the existence of the Assamese and other indigenous people in the North East,” All Assam Students’ Union president Dipanka Kumar Nath said.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Bill is expected to table its recommendations in the Parliament on Monday. The panel had rejected all the amendments suggested by the Congress and other parties to the draft of the Bill on December 31.

Mobilising support

On Saturday, the Citizen’s Forum against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill launched a campaign to mobilise support against the Bill’s passage. Its members appealed to the editors of all dailies in Assam to leave their editorial columns blank and television channels to run the upper or lower ticker black on Monday to register their protest against the Bill that “has violated the basic essence of the Constitution”.

Harekrishna Deka, the forum’s spokesperson and Assam’s former Director General of Police, said Monday would be observed as dhikkar diwas (condemnation day) across the State.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 10:28:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/call-for-northeast-shutdown-against-citizenship-bill/article25921101.ece

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