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Stir Intensifies Over Citizenship Bill, NESO Calls for 11-Hour NE Bandh

bandh

Massive protests have erupted all over the Northeast region after the much-debated Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 was passed in Lok Sabha on late Monday night.

The protests have been staged by several students’ bodies including the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) as the contentious legislation was approved with 311 members of the ‘Lower House’ voting in favour and 80 against the Bill.

Normal life was affected in various parts of Assam along with parts of Northeast owing to an 11-hour shutdown call by North East Students’ Organisation (NESO)against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

After a 12-hour long debate, the much-debated Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed by the Union Cabinet on December 4(Wednesday) and was passed in the Lok Sabha on late Monday night. Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Bill in the Lower House amid massive uproar in the Northeastern states. The controversial legislation seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh fleeing religious persecution in their countries.

Different students’ organizations under the aegis of NESO have joined hands supporting a region-wide Bandh called from 5 am on Tuesday. The All Moran Students Union (AMSU) has also called a 48-hour bandh from 5 am on Monday to protest against the legislation and grant Scheduled Tribe status to six indigenous communities, including the Morans.

The bandh affected normal life including transport operations and other services in various parts of the state. In different parts of the region, daily commuters faced a harrowing time as a large number of public and private remained off the roads. Almost all the schools and institutions in Guwahati remain closed on Tuesday in the wake of the ‘Bandh’.

In addition to that, Gauhati University postponed all the examinations which were scheduled to be held on Tuesday that is December 10, 2019, to avoid any untoward incident amid the ‘Bandh’.

Protests rocked different places as agitators shouted slogans and burnt tyres and effigies as a mark of protest. Moreover, sporadic incidents of violence were reported from various places. Vehicles including motorcycles and scooters were set on fire for not observing the ‘Bandh’. A state-run bus was vandalized in Guwahati’s Six Mile area. Three AASU members sustained injuries during a clash with CISF personnel in front of the main gate of Oil India Limited (OIL), Duliajan.

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