Saturday, Apr 20, 2019 | Last Update : 05:42 PM IST

Northeast on boil over Citizenship Bill

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : Feb 12, 2019, 6:18 am IST
Updated : Feb 12, 2019, 6:18 am IST

Shops, business establishments, and educational institutions remained closed and vehicular traffic in all 11 districts was suspended.

Students of Dibrugarh University stage a protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Dibrugarh on Monday. (Photo: PTI)
 Students of Dibrugarh University stage a protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Dibrugarh on Monday. (Photo: PTI)

Guwahati: The ongoing protest continues to rock the northeastern states with normal life coming to a standstill in Nagaland on Monday following a dawn-to-dusk shutdown called in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The bandh was called jointly by the coordination committee of tribal hohos (associations), civil society organisations, various committees, and mass-based organisations under the aegis of the Nagaland Gaon Burhas Federation (NGBF).

The busy roads in state capital Kohima and the commercial town of Dimapur wore a deserted look despite the Nagaland government’s appeal to reconsider the shutdown.

Shops, business establishments, and educational institutions remained closed and vehicular traffic in all 11 districts was suspended. The Opposition, Naga People’s Front, backed the shutdown.

It is significant that even the state Cabinet of the Nagaland government headed by chief minister Neiphiu Rio has rejected the citizenship bill, which was passed on January 8.

Nagaland chief secretary and finance commissioner Temjen Toy said that the state government will propose the adoption of a resolution to oppose the bill in the forthcoming Budget session, scheduled to be held on February 21, as decided during the January 31 consultative meeting held in Dimapur.

Meanwhile, protest against the citizenship bill continued in neighbouring Manipur and Mizoram, where civil society groups have been spearheading agitation continuously for the last one week.

Hundreds of female vendors from the four women’s markets in the Imphal city have been staging a sit-in protest in the main market complex. They have refused to return home.

CM Rio, who was in New Delhi to attend a meeting between Union home minister and chief ministers of Northeast on Monday, stated that the state government — which represents the will and desire of the people — remains opposed to the bill that seeks to remove hurdles for eligible migrants from six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan in getting Indian citizenship.

He also promised that his government would leave no stone unturned to constantly protect the rights and privileges of the people.

Meanwhile, protest against the citizenship bill continued in neighbouring Manipur and Mizoram, where civil society groups have been spearheading agitation continuously for the last one week.

Hundreds of female vendors from the four women’s markets in the Imphal city have been staging a sit-in protest in the main market complex. They have refused to return home.

The activists said that they shall stay in the market complex until Wednesday when it is expected that the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, will be passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Tags: citizenship bill, ngbf