Guwahati, Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Anti-CAB protests rock NE States
Staff Correspondent/Correspondents

Activists of Twipra Students’ Federation blocking the Assam-Agartala national highway at Champaknagar in West Tripura district on Tuesday. – Correspondent
 AGARTALA, Dec 10 - As many as 40 persons were injured when bandh supporters clashed with security personnel at three places in Tripura today during the 11-hour bandh called against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill by the NESO.

The security forces had to resort to blank firing to disperse unruly bandh supporters at Bishramganj in Sepahijala district and Kanchanpur in North Tripura district. Prohibitory orders have been clamped at Manughat Bazar in Dhalai district after picketers set the market on fire.

As the situation continues to remain grim, the State Government suspended the Internet service for the next 48 hours at 2 pm, but the order has not been implemented yet. Hundreds of villagers of Anandabazar area had to take shelter in the Ananada Bazar police station as bandh supporters attacked them. “One TSR commandant and five jawans were injured in a clash at Ananda Bazar area. Besides, 15 villagers also suffered injuries,” said the SDM of Kanchapur Abhedananda Baidya over telephone.

Bandh supporters under the banner of NESO and Joint Movement Against CAB (JMACAB) attacked a villager at Bishramganj, leading to a clash. Police resorted to firing to disperse the mob. At Manughat in Dhalai district, at least four persons were injured in a clash between bandh supporters and shop keepers.

A two-month-old critically ill child, who was referred to the GBP Hospital, died as he could not be taken from Udaipur to Agartala.

The 12-hour bandh called by NESO, supported by the JMACAB, evoked a massive response in tribal areas including the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC). However, it had little impact in the State’s plain areas.

JMACAB president BK Hrangkhawl condemned the violence during the bandh. “We hope the Central Government will withdraw the CAB to provide protection to the indigenous people in Tripura,” he said at a press conference.

Aizawl: Normal life was affected in Mizoram on Tuesday due a Statewide bandh called by the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (State’s apex students’ body), a constituent of the NESO, to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Shops, markets, business establishments, educational and financial institutions remained closed during the bandh. All government offices and political parties offices were also closed. No untoward incident and violence was reported from anywhere in the State.

The MZP, after burning a copy of the Bill, called off the bandh at 1 pm, in appreciation of the support given by the public. The NESO, an umbrella body of students’ organisations of the region, had called the bandh in the region to protest against the CAB.

MZP president Vanlaltana blamed the Centre for allegedly dividing the North East by excluding some of the States and including others within the ambit of the Bill. He said that Mizoram is not fully protected though it will be exempted from the purview of the Bill. He added that various student bodies under the aegis of the NESO are against the Bill as it is “harmful” for the North East.

Meanwhile, the MZP, in a statement, strongly accused Lok Sabha member from Mizoram C Lalrosanga of supporting the Bill. The student body asked the MP to remember his poll promises and that all political parties, NGOs and the people alike are strongly opposed to the Bill.

IMPHAL: Normal life was affected in Manipur due to the 15-hour ‘total shutdown’ called by All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) on Tuesday. Business establishments and educational institutes remained closed during the bandh.

Meanwhile, the BJP, Manipur unit, hailed the Union Home Minister for introducing the inner line permit (ILP) system in the State.

A public meeting was held in which Chief Minister N Biren Singh praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for introducing the ILP.

SHILLONG: The bandh called by the NESO totally paralysed normal life in Meghalaya. Stray incidents of violence were reported from various parts of the State capital.

Shops and business establishments, educational institutions and offices remained closed with little or attendance. The roads were deserted as vehicles remained off the streets in the State capital.

Several parked vehicles were damaged in incidents of stone pelting and arson reported from various parts of the State capital. A police vehicle was also torched close to Mawlai. But, there has been no loss of life in these incidents.

State police and paramilitary forces remained on high alert at different parts of the State capital.

In the evening, a rally opposing the CAB was also taken out at Mothpran area. The protesters demanded implementation of the inner line permit system.

On the other hand, there has been no reaction from the Chief Minister and NPP president Conrad Sangma after the CAB was passed in the Lok Sabha. Sangma had earlier said that he would take a stand on the Bill after studying it. In a way, the stand has been cleared after the lone NPP parliamentarian, Agatha Sangma, voted in favour of the CAB.

She had a rider attached to the support that the whole State of Meghalaya should be exempted from the purview of the CAB.

About 97 per cent of the State’s geographical area has been kept outside the purview of the Bill as Meghalaya is a Sixth Schedule State. However, there are pockets in the State which do not fall under the Sixth schedule.

There is a demand from political parties and NGOs that these areas must be exempted from the CAB as well. Allies of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance have demanded that the entire State be exempted from the CAB. Some alliance partners have condemned Governor Tathagata Roy for supporting the CAB.

Tura: The 11-hour bandh called by the NESO across the NE States evoked complete response in the entire Garo Hills on Tuesday. During the bandh, which was supported by the Garo Students’ Union, a few incidents of trucks being torched and tyres being lit on the roads, were reported.

The entire town of Tura wore a deserted look with most staying indoors. Shops in the Ringrey Market and the Araimile Market remained closed.

A truck was torched Marsapara village in South West Garo Hills. In a separate case of arson, another truck parked by the side of the FCI godown near Najing Bazar in Tura, was also set ablaze at 3.30 am today. Tyres were burnt at various places including Phulbari, Bhaitbari and Rajabala in West Garo Hills. Other districts also reported similar incidents.

The All Meghalaya Minority Students’ Union also took out a bike rally from Chibinang to Rajabala in support of the bandh.

Meanwhile, various organisations on Tuesday burnt effigies of Tura MP Agatha Sangma after it became known that she had voted in favour of the controversial citizenship Bill.

Activists of the Post Graduate Students’ Union held a rally and shouted slogans against Sangma. At Dainadubi, protesters burnt the effigy of the Tura MP, along with those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in protest against the passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha. Effigies were also burnt in Williamnagar and in front of the NPP office at Tura.

ITANAGAR: The 11-hour North East bandh called by the NESO passed off peacefully in Arunachal Pradesh without any untoward incident. The shutdown call was backed by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU).

In the State capital, all types of vehicular traffic were off the roads and shops and markets remained closed. All educational and financial institutions were also closed. Attendance in government offices was thin.

AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai, while leading the anti-CAB protests in the capital streets, said, “Our stand is a big ‘no’ to CAB. From the very beginning, we have been demanding that the CAB issue should be permanently scrapped. If it cannot be scrapped, the entire North East should be exempted from the purview of the CAB. This is a kind of divisive politics by the Central Government. They are exempting Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. Assam, which is the epicentre of the North East, is the worst affected. The North East will continue to suffer till Assam’s problems are addressed,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Rajiv Gandhi University has postponed the undergraduate and postgraduate semester examinations scheduled for Tuesday. The State Directorate of School Education also postponed the pre-Board examination for classes X and XII, scheduled on the day, to December 26.

Dimapur: The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) held a peaceful sit-in demonstration against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill outside the Raj Bhavan in Kohima on Tuesday, expressing solidarity with the other North Eastern States.

Speaking at the protest venue, NSF president Ninoto Awomi said though Nagaland has the ILP provision, the State has not been able to control influx of illegal immigrants due to “poor mechanism in place”.

Stating that the entire North East is like “one block”, he said if the CAB was imposed even on a “small pocket”, it would be like opening another porous border for the entire region and Nagaland, along with other North Eastern states, would be affected by influx of illegal immigrants.

Calling the CAB anti-minority and anti-indigenous people, Awomi said he had appealed to the Union Government at a meeting in New Delhi on December 3 to respect the sentiments and aspirations of the minority North Eastern region. He said the Government should protect its citizens instead of sheltering illegal migrants.

Former NSF president NSN Lotha said the Bill is against the fundamental right to equality as it singled out certain religion. He expressed concern over the unrecorded data of refugees entering the North Eastern region.

Lotha further said Nagaland is the most threatened State due to the influx of illegal immigrants after Assam and appealed the people to be united in their fight against the Bill.

The 11-hour bandh called by the NESO in the North East on Tuesday to protest against the Bill had no effect in Nagaland as the State was exempted from the strike due to the ongoing Hornbill Festival.

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