GUWAHATI, Jan 11 - Denied permission to meet some of the persons injured in the police firing during the January 8 North East shutdown against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Tripura, a delegation of the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) today alleged that there was an “Emergency-like situation” in Tripura and the state machinery was forcefully suppressing the indigenous people’s protest against the Bill.
The students’ body alleged that once the Bill becomes an Act allowing citizenship to illegal migrants, the indigenous population of the entire North East region would be treated as second-class citizens.
“Tripura is a glaring example of the condition of the indigenous people who have been reduced to minorities in their homeland. Despite police atrocities on the peaceful protesters, they are not allowed to explain their condition to others. The Internet has also been suspended in the State,” said NESO adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya addressing the media here today.
The NESO delegation had gone to Tripura on Thursday to express their solidarity towards the injured protesters and take stock of the situation. Whereas the team met the injured persons admitted to the GB Pant Hospital in Agartala, it was denied permission to go to the Khumulwng Hospital where another five persons injured in the police firing are getting treated on the plea that Section 144 CrPC has been clamped in the area.
“We have evidence that not only the Tripura Police opened fire on unarmed protesters at Khumulwng, they also attacked the ambulance carrying the injured protesters to hospital. A number of youths protesting against the Bill were attacked by the police. Moreover, a local village was also attacked in a barbaric manner,” Bhattacharyya added.
“Ambulances are not attacked even in war zones, but the condition in Tripura is different. The NESO delegation was denied permission so that the real picture cannot be revealed to the outside world,” NESO general secretary Sinam Prakash said.
The NESO will observe a ‘black day’ tomorrow throughout the region in protest against the Tripura incident and raise black flags in all the NE States. The students’ body has demanded a judicial inquiry of the incident by a High Court judge, adequate compensation to the injured persons and a clarification from the State Government over the entire episode. NESO members will again visit the State to show their support to the indigenous community.