NE ‘bandh’ begins against Citizenship Amendment Bill

PTI Guwahati | Updated on January 08, 2019

An 11-hour North East bandh, called by a number of students’ organisation and political parties on Tuesday, to protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill began amid tight security at 5am.

In Assam, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has called for a state-wide bandh after a gap of 10 years and it is being supported by the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which withdrew support to the BJP-led government in Assam on Monday, the opposition Congress, the AIUDF, and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS).

Tyres were burnt on roads at various places in Assam to prevent movement of vehicles. Vehicles were damaged in Guwahati, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts, police said. Railway tracks were blocked briefly in Guwahati and Dibrugarh district but movement of trains, including that of the Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express, resumed after the GRP removed protestors from the tracks, railway sources said. Train and flight schedules remained unaffected.

Shops, markets, financial institutions kept their shutters down, educational institutions, private offices remained closed and private vehicles, including long-distance buses, kept off roads in the Brahmaputra valley, police and official sources said. Attendance in government offices was thin as the employees had difficulty in reaching their workplace in the absence of adequate public transport, the sources said. A skeleton service of the government-run Assam State Transport Corporation buses were pressed into service.

Several students’ bodies of the region have decided to observe the ‘bandh’ in support of the call given by the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), an umbrella organisation of students’ unions, of which the AASU is a constituent. Thirty ethnic organisations are also supporting the bandh in Assam.

The bandh evoked response in the Bengali-majority Barak valley also where Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 4, had announced that the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 will be passed as soon as possible in the Parliament as a penance for past injustices.

Published on January 08, 2019

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