Protests over Citizenship Bill: Northeast shuts down; violence in Assam, Tripura

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AAPSU members burnt copies of the citizenship amendment bill on the streets of Itanagar and Naharlagun, and shops and institutes remained closed till 4 pm.

Hek, who is also the BJP legislature party leader, said the party has also requested the police to deploy security personnel in all its offices across the state to prevent such incident to take place.

"The beneficiaries of Citizenship Amendment Bill can reside in any state of the country".

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill amid a walkout by several Opposition parties, including the Congress and Trinamool Congress. Sarma said that those aware of Assam's history knew that Jinnah's Muslim League had wanted it to be a part of Pakistan, but the effort was thwarted first by former Chief Minister Gopinath Bordoloi and then by the Congress. A skeleton service of the government-run Assam State Transport Corporation buses was pressed into service. "We have reports of four injured persons", Singh said. The Home Minister said the Union Cabinet has also approved the grant of ST status to six communities of Assam, namely Tai Ahom, Koch Rajbongshi, Chutia, Tea Tribes, Moran, and Matak. The bill made illegal migrants - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship.

The Conrad Sangma-led coalition government in Meghalaya too had opposed the Bill but desisted from calling off its ties with the BJP, which is a minor player with two MLAs.

Pointing out that the AGP had entered into a pre-poll alliance and not a post-poll one, Mahanta added:"The people of Assam voted for the BJP-AGP alliance, not the BJP alone".

The bill sparked a second day of protests in the northeastern state of Assam, where almost 4 million people, accused of being foreigners, were effectivelystripped of their citizenship past year.

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The decision followed an AGP delegation's meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi, who asserted that the government will ensure its passage in Lok Sabha Tuesday, Bora said.

The bill has been opposed by large sections of people and organisations in the Northeast.

However, in Tripura where the saffron brigade had wrested power just a year ago, it had no impact as well as the Barak Valley of Assam which has been supporting the contentious citizenship bill since its inception.

However, state BJP president Ranjit Dass, specifically warning the Congress and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti which were allegedly behind the acts of violence on his party's offices, said, "Do not provoke us".

"The NDA government must give a list of such people before pressing for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament", Mahanta said. The indigenous people have been opposing the bill as they feel that granting citizenship status to immigrants will erode their limited opportunities in terms of employment and other social benefits.

Ruling BJP's ally IPFT's Assistant General Secretary Mangal Debbarma told IANS that they have extended moral support to the NESO's shutdown in the northeastern region comprising seven states, excluding Sikkim.

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