CAB: Internet suspended in Tripura, clashes in Assam as protests hit North East
Shutdown call from NESO paralyses States in North East India
New Delhi, Dec 10
The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill intensified in various States of the North East region with several reports of stone-pelting, arson and agitation coming from Assam, Tripura and Manipur on Tuesday. The Tripura administration shut down internet service for 48 hours in wake of protests against the Bill. In Assam, normal life came to a halt in Brahmaputra Valley due to a Statewide bandh with protests in different areas of Guwahati.
In Tripura, normal life was hit following Statewide indefinite bandh called by tribal parties and organisations against the Bill. Most Government schools, offices, banks and financial institutions in the council areas remained closed and vehicles were off the roads on Monday. Agitators participating in a bandh called by NESO against the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha set a market, where shops were owned mostly by non-tribals, on fire in Tripura's Dhalai district on Tuesday, police said.
The bandh has evoked massive response in the tribal areas of Tripura. It threw normal life out of gear in Dhalai, West Tripura and Khowai districts with residents remaining indoors while attendance at offices was thin.
"It has been reported by Director General of Police, Tripura that rumours are being mongered about ethnic clashes between tribal and non-tribal in Manu and Kanchanpur areas. This has created violent situation in the area. It has been noticed that SMS, WhatsApp and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are being used for transmission of fake images and videos as well as text messages which have potential to incite violence in the State at a larger rate," Tripura Government said in a letter.
In view of the situation, the State Government said that it is prohibiting use of SMS and mobile data for 48 hours, beginning 2pm on Tuesday. This shall be applicable for press messages also, the letter read.
In Assam, normal life came to a halt on in Brahmaputra Valley owing to a Statewide bandh called by students' unions and Left-democratic organisations. The shutdown, led by the All Assam Students' Union and the North East Students' Organisation, coincided with the bandh called by Left-leaning organizations, including SFI, DYFI, AIDWA, AISF and AISA. The strike, however, did not have much impact on the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley.
Huge processions were taken out in different areas of Guwahati, with protesters raising slogans against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Agitators engaged in a scuffle with security forces near the Secretariat and Assembly buildings in Guwahati, when they were prevented from moving forward, police sources said. Some of them also attempted to block the entrance to NF Railway headquarters here and Divisional Railway Manager's office at Rangia in Kamrup district, he said.
In Maligaon area of the city, a Government-run bus was pelted with stones and a scooter set on fire, sources said. Shops, markets and business establishments kept shutters down, while educational and financial institutions remained closed for the day, the official sources stated. Examinations were shelved and rescheduled by Universities in view of the bandh.
Train services across Assam were affected as picketers blocked the tracks, a spokesperson of the Railways said. Vehicles - both private and public - stayed off the roads, the official sources said, adding that Government-run Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) buses plied between Guwahati city and the LGB airport here, with police escort. Protesters burnt tyres and blocked National Highways to stop movement of vehicles in various parts of Assam.
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) to enter office at Duliajan area.
Actors and singers of the Assamese film industry organised a demonstration at Chandmari area here. Some of them also took part in a rally at Uzan Bazar area of the city.
Students of Gauhati University and Cotton University in Guwahati, along with those of Assam Agriculture University in Jorhat, took to the streets, seeking immediate withdrawal of the legislation.
According to the Indian Express, the Manipur People Against CAB (Manpac), which was spearheading the agitation in the State, has announced suspension of its stir on Monday, after Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Manipur will be brought under Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime. However, the All Manipur Students' Union (AMSU) is still supporting the bandh. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, piloted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, was comfortably passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday night as the ruling BJP enjoys a clear majority in the house. The legislation was passed by 311-80 votes in the Lower House of the Parliament. According to Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, non-Muslim minorities, who fled religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and moved to the country before December 31, 2014, will be accorded Indian citizenship. It, however, exempted tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and areas covered under the Inner Line, notified under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. News Nation