The 11-hour Northeast bandh called by an umbrella body of students' organisations of the region to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill began at 5 am on Tuesday. The North East Students' Organisation (NESO), backed by various other bodies and political parties, will observe the shutdown till 4 pm. Security was beefed up in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there, was passed in the Lok Sabha with 311-80 votes on Monday night, after more than seven hours of debate and discussions. The Bill will now be tabled in the Rajya Sabha for its nod.
Indigenous people of the Northeastern states are scared that the entry of these people will endanger their identity and livelihood.
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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday night expressed delight over the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, saying the proposed law is in line with India's centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values.
"Delighted that the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after a rich and extensive debate. I thank the various MPs and parties that supported the Bill. This Bill is in line with India's centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values," he tweeted.
He said he would like to specially applaud Home Minister Amit Shah for lucidly explaining all aspects of the measure. "He also gave elaborate answers to the various points raised by respective MPs during the discussion in Lok Sabha," Modi said.