North-East is in no mood to bow down on CAB imposition, unrest on the rise. Assam-Tripura on the boil

North-East is in no mood to bow down on CAB imposition, unrest on the rise. Assam-Tripura on the boil

Samikhsya Bureau

Contrary to what the union home minister Amit Shah pleaded in the Lok Sabha and tried hard to hammer the point that, CAB is not aimed at any community and the Muslims in particular, people in Assam and Tripura and in many other parts are not ready to buy his words.

In Assam life has been affected in view of an 11-hour bandh called by North East Students Organisation (NESO), an umbrella body of students body of North East region, including the influential All Assam Students Union (AASU), against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB).

Protest supported by political & apolitical people

The bandh has been supported by various other political as well as apolitical organisations.

Reports pouring in suggest that protestors blocked national highways and other roads by burning tyres. There is picketing and the strikers  squatted on railway tracks at several railway stations, affecting train movement.

Expectedly, things like such strikes against the Citizens’(Ammendment)Bill cannot go without incidents which can worry the administrations. Sporadic incidents of violence were also reported as bandh supporters damaged vehicles and engaged in a tussle with police and security personnel at different places.

It was further learnt from sources in Guwahati that,  Guwahati was also affected by the bandh as CAB protestors blocked several roads in the city and took out processions.

The state has been opposing the CAB, which seeks to grant Indian citizenship to religious minorities from select neighbouring countries, claiming that it will change the demographic pattern of the state as well as the NE region.

The CAB was passed in the Lok Sabha last night and is scheduled to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow.

Amid agitation and indefinite strike in protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), Tripura government warned the protestors to stop all sorts of movement immediately, which affects commoners life severely and the administration would not sit idle to restore normalcy.

Affects educational institutions

The spokesperson of the state government Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath today said although education department has postponed the test examinations of Class X and XII scheduled today due to unavoidable circumstances, all other government offices and public institutions would function as usual.

He said test examinations of Class-XII could not be conducted in 41 schools following the bandh yesterday called by BJP’s ally in the government IPFT for 12 –hrs and indefinite period by Joint Movement Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (JMACAB), a conglomeration of all tribal-based regional parties, NGOs and student organizations of Tripura.

The minister further stated that the government took a serious view on yesterday’s attack on 17 –school teachers including women by the anti-CAB demonstrators in Khowai when they were conducting the exam as per the direction of the authority.

Specific cases have been registered and police arrested one Soumendra Debbaram at night in this connection while massive haunt launched to arrest all others.

Nath however, alleged that some political parties and organizations have been trying to misguide the people on CAB and NRC, which is not only creating unnecessary unrest among various communities and states but also instigating the situation.

“Every political party may have some demands but the protest should be done in a democratic way that does not affect the state’s interest or commoners’ life. Destructive activity in the name of protest is not at all acceptable and the state government would not allow this thing to happen. Once union home minister made an open commitment in the floor of parliament to protect the interest of all concerns in CAB, the agitating groups must respect it and to wait and see,” Nath stated.

While condemning the way the picketers disrupted the examination in various schools and movement of long-distance trains and buses, Nath stated that a large number of people have faced serious trouble. Many people had to cancel their air tickets from Agartala due to bandh, which affected the common people.

Meanwhile, Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has cancelled multiple trains from and to Agartala following the indefinite strike of JMACAB. The protestors today demonstrated as many as 15 places across the state including in front of civil secretariat here pressing for their demand to keep whole Tripura out of the purview of CAB.

Police courted a group of protestors in the city this morning who were preventing public functioning.

Security beefed up  

The JMACAB leaders stated that they will continue the agitation and even if it is passed in parliament would not allow this Act to be implemented in Tripura, as they apprehended it would make an adverse effect on socio-economic and political interests of the indigenous people, who have already reduced to a minority in their own homeland in Tripura.

Besides, state police and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) jawans, paramilitary forces like CRPF and Assam Rifles were deployed in the sensitive locations while BSF has been put on alert. The security on national highways was increased to keep the movement of the vehicle smooth. However, in several places tension erupted between police and the protestors.