Tension mounts in Assam as protesters burned tyres and attempted to disrupt train services following a statewide strike called by 46 organisations in the state on Tuesday. The strike is being called against a meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Committee with the Home and External Affairs Ministry over the Citizenship Bill. The bill seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, drawing opposition from several organisations in Assam.
The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and 44 other organisations have called the 12-hour bandh to protest against the Centre’s bid to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in the Winter Session of Parliament. Political parties, including the Congress and the AIUDF, have extended their support to the bandh.
The BJP government in the state instructed all district magistrates and superintendents of police to take measures to maintain public utility services in view of the bandh call. A government communique in this regard had said that necessary pre-emptive and preventive measures to thwart the bandh call must be taken in view of the judgement of the Gauhati High Court, according to news agency PTI.
KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi said this was the first time that they had called a bandh and they would not call it off as the very “existence of Assamese and their identity was at stake by the Bill”.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.
Supreme court has asked Prateek Hajela to explain and apprise (which he had excluded in his earlier), to all the stake holders including Assam&UOI within two days, as to why he had excluded these five documents in the case. The matter will be next heard on November 1. #NRCAssam https://t.co/dwR9MEoOMv— ANI (@ANI) October 23, 2018
The Supreme Court asks all the stake holders to file their respective replies with regard to the five documents, which were earlier excluded in the report submitted by Prateek Hajela, the NRC (National Register of Citizens) co-ordinator.
Visuals of protest from Tinsukia as a 12-hour statewide #Assambandh has been called by over 40 organisations against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Shops remain closed in Guwahati as a 12-hour statewide bandh has been called by over 40 organisations in Assam against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Shops remain closed in Guwahati as a 12-hour statewide bandh has been called by over 40 organisations in Assam against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 pic.twitter.com/vcRHA7uGi1— ANI (@ANI) October 23, 2018
#Visuals from Guwahati as a 12-hour statewide bandh has been called by over 40 organisations against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016