To protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, an umbrella body of students' organisations in Assam has called for 11-hour bandh across Northeast. The bandh, which started at 5 am on Tuesday (December 10), is witnessing massive protests as people fear that with CAB, Centre might change the demography of Northeast.

assam CAB
Various organisations of the region have launched a series of agitations against the Bill.Twitter

The North East Students' Organisation (NESO), backed by various other bodies and political parties, is observing the shutdown till 4 pm against the Bill which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Security was 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.

Why is Northeast opposing CAB?

  • Indigenous people of the Northeastern states are scared that the entry of these people will endanger their identity and livelihood
  • With CAB, Centre might change the demography of Northeast

Various organisations of the region have launched a series of agitations against the Bill.

Parties and organisations such as the Congress, AIUDF, All Assam Students Union, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union, Khasi Students Union and the Naga Students Federation are backing the NESO to observe the bandh.

A total of 16 left-leaning organisations such as the SFI, DYFI, AIDWA, AISF, AISA and the IPTA has also called a 12-hour bandh in Assam, coinciding with the NESO-organised shutdown.

Citizenship fire rages on

Guwahati, Jorabat, Agartala, Dibrugarh and Golaghat are some of the areas witnessing massive protests. Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University in the state have postponed all examinations scheduled for tomorrow.

Citizenship amendment bill protest
AASU holds a protest in Dibrugarh against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.Twitter

The Manipur People Against CAB (Manpac), which was spearheading the agitation in the state, has announced the suspension of its stir on Monday, after Home Minister Amit Shah said that the to be brought under Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there. They will be given Indian citizenship after residing in the country for five years, instead of 11 years which is the current norm.

The Bill would not be applicable to Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram where the ILP system exists and those tribal regions of Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura which are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

This is the second region-wise bandh in this issue this year. Several organisations observed a bandh on January 8 when the earlier Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed.

However, the Bill lapsed as it was not introduced in Rajya Sabha. A new version was tabled on Lok Sabha on Monday.