Itanagar: Normal life came to a halt in the State on Tuesday during the 11-hour Northeast bandh called to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill by the North East Students Organisation (NESO), an umbrella body of various students unions of the region.
All the educational institutions, banks, commercial establishments and markets remained closed while public and private vehicles were off the road during the bandh that began at 5 am, officials said adding that attendance in government offices was almost nil.
However, the Bill will not be applicable to Arunachal Pradesh as it is covered under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime, Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed the Lok Sabha on Monday during a debate.
The Bill was passed in the Lower House of Parliament on Monday. It will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
In Itanagar, protesters pelted stones at vehicles and burnt tyres on the key National Highway-415, Capital Superintendent of Police Tumme Amo said.
The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), a constituent of the NESO, also staged a sit-in demonstration in the state capital to oppose the Bill.
“We have been fighting against the CAB since the very beginning as there are many underlying issues which can have future ramifications,” AAPSU general secretary Tabom Dai said.
The Bill will largely affect Assam which in turn will affect other states of the region, AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said.
“The bandh call is aimed to unite the entire North East and to jointly fight the arbitrary decision of the Centre to bring the CAB which will jeopardise the existence of the people of the region,” Bagang said.
The Bill seeks to give Indian citizenship to members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing 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.
Indigenous people of the Northeastern states are scared that the entry of these people will endanger their identity and livelihood.