Union minister Amit Shah today assured the northeastern states that their "culture, social identity, language and political rights will be untouched" amid the huge unrest over the Citizenship law that was signed off by President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday. Taking a dig at the Congress, which held a mega "Save India" rally in Delhi today, the minister said the party got "stomach ache" after the Citizenship law.
"I assure the states of the northeast that their culture, social identity, language and political rights will be untouched and the Narendra Modi government will protect them," the minister said at an election rally in Jharkhand.
The northeastern states - ruled by the BJP and its allies -- especially Assam and Meghalaya, have witnessed violent protests over the new law that will help expedite citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from three neighbouring countries --- Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Curfew was relaxed in Guwahati after two consecutive days. Tension remained in Nagaland, where the Naga Students'' Federation (NSF) had called a six-hour strike. Schools and colleges remained closed, markets were shut and vehicles stayed largely off the roads.
In view of the unrest, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cancelled his visit and the US and UK advised its citizens touring the country to stay away from the troubled areas.
In Bengal, ruled by the Trinamool Congress, protests continued today, with rail and road traffic being disrupted in parts of the state. A portion of a railway station complex was set on fire. A National highway connecting the northern and southern part of the state was blocked and 15 buses, including three state buses, were set ablaze by the protestors.
In Delhi, where violent protests took place outside Jamia Milia University, the university authorities declared a vacation till January 5, postponing all exams.