DIMAPUR, Feb 11 - The Statewide Nagaland bandh, called by Naga civil society organisations under the banner of Nagaland Gaon Burhas Federation (NGBF) against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (CAB), on Monday passed off peacefully without any untoward incident reported from any part of the State.
The bandh was observed from 6 am to 12 noon in eastern Nagaland while in the rest of the State it was observed from 6 am to 4 pm.
All offices, educational institutions and business establishments remained closed across the State on the day. All modes of transport, including the government-owned city buses, were off the road.
However, vehicles, including autorickshaws, carrying students and teachers for examination, people for pre-engaged programmes like weddings, train and flight passengers, etc., were allowed to ply.
Despite the State Government’s appeal to reconsider the bandh call, the civil society organisations were adamant in staging the bandh. The government made the appeal assuring to propose adoption of a resolution to oppose the CAB in the forthcoming Budget session scheduled to be held from February 21.
Organisations like the Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants had categorically stated that under no circumstances will the bandh be called off.
Although the organisers on Sunday decided not to deploy any volunteer to enforce the bandh, bandh enforcers, including gaonburhas (village headmen) were seen checking and stopping vehicles at different junctions here.
The Joint Coordination Committee of civil society organisations, tribal bodies and indigenous citizens of Nagaland committee on Sunday sought voluntary participation of every citizen of the State in enforcing the bandh as the issue necessitated mass agitation.
The committee on Monday said the bandh was observed to send a message to the Central Government that the preservation and protection of the indigenous people of the North East was of outmost priority.
It also said the bandh is a conscience call to the people to rise to the occasion to protect their rights, privileges, dignity and security.
The committee said no amount of assurances given by the Centre on CAB and its implications can dupe the people as there is no mechanism to protect the indigenous people from the menace of the Bill once it becomes a law.
The committee said “relentless lobbying” by the Centre to get the Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha amounts to total disregard of the sentiments of the people of NE.