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Protests against Citizenship Bill in Manipur

 IMPHAL, Jan 14 (PTI): Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill were held in parts of Manipur by Manipur Peoples Party (MPP) and six students' organisations on Monday.

The protestors, who took out processions and staged sit-ins in various districts, demanded to know the stand of the BJP-led state government on the contentious bill.

MPP president O Jugindro said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, if passed in the Rajya Sabha, would reduce the population of indigenous people of the northeastern states, including Manipur, to "microscopic minority".

The party would oppose the bill tooth and nail, he said.

Jugindro said the MPP had organised a procession against the bill from the party's office to the Raj Bhavan but the demonstrators were stopped by police at the nearby Kangla Gate.

Sit-ins were held by the students' bodies at Moirang Lamkhai in Manipur's Bishnupur district, Wangoi in Imphal West district, Nongmeibung Bazaar and Kongba Bazaar in Imphal East district, president of All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) Manjit Sarangthem said.

The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in the recently concluded winter session of Parliament, leading to raging protests in the northeastern states.

On Saturday, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi and raised issues related to the protection and rights of the indigenous people of the state.

The chief minister had earlier said the bill will have no effect on the state.

Recently, the state assembly passed a resolution stating that the Manipur People's Protection Bill should be given assent and the state should be exempted from the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who fled religious persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.

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