Guwahati, Tuesday, January 08, 2019
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Students across NE support bandh against Citizenship Bill

 AIZAWL/ITANAGAR/KOHIMA, Jan 7 - Several students’ bodies of the Northeastern region have decided to observe a “bandh” on Tuesday in support of the call given by an influential students’ union to protest the proposed Citizens Amendment Bill, 2016.

Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) and Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) have extended their support to the 11-hour “bandh” called by North East Students’ Organisation (NESO).

The “bandh” has also been called to condemn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent statement that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 would be passed in Parliament soon, a NESO leader said.

“Despite staging various dharnas even in New Delhi by students’ bodies from NE, the Centre is hell bent to pass the controversial Bill, undermining the sentiments of the indigenous people of the region,” NESO coordinator Pritambai Sonam told reporters at Itanagar on Sunday.

Modi had said at a rally near Silchar in Assam’s Barak Valley on Friday that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 would soon be passed in Parliament as a “penance against the injustice and many wrongs done in the past”.

MZP general secretary Lalnunmawia Pautu said the 11-hour bandh would begin from 5 am in Aizawl on Tuesday.

He added that the people of NE were against the proposed amendment as it would grant citizenship to people on religious grounds.

In Mizoram, it would mean legalising thousands of Buddhist Chakmas who had illegally entered the State from Bangladesh, Pautu said.

Demanding immediate scrapping of the Bill, AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said, “If the Bill is passed, we will be left with no option but to take up arms to protect our indigenous population.”

The NSF, in a press release, said as a constituent of NESO, it had apprised the Centre of the detrimental effects of the Bill, if it was passed in Parliament.

Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya, the chief advisor of NESO and AASU, had told a press conference in Guwahati on Saturday that the “bandh” was called by the two organisations, along with 30 allied ethnic organisations in Assam, to oppose the Bill and condemn the PM’s statement. – PTI

Agartala Correspondent adds: NESO called North East strike on January 8 would be observed in Tripura too, said Tripura Students Federation (TSF).

Sunil Debbarma, general secretary of TSF on Sunday said the strike would be observed in the State because the Bill is detrimental to the interest of indigenous people of the region.

Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) has also objected to the Central Government’s move to push the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

“The issue – tabling of the Bill was discussed in the party meeting held here recently. We are determined to stage agitation at the divisional level protesting the BJP- led Government”, said INPT’s general secretary Jagadish Debbarma.

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