Updates: Amit Shah's Shillong, Arunachal Visit Cancelled Over Citizenship Act Protests

The Citizenship Act seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

Updates: Amit Shah's Shillong, Arunachal Visit Cancelled Over Citizenship Act Protests

The centre has deployed army personnel in areas where violent protests are raging.

New Delhi:

Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Shillong, Meghalaya, on Sunday, has been cancelled, sources in the Home Ministry have said, amid raging protests over the Citizenship Act. Amit Shah was scheduled to visit the North-East Police Academy in Shillong. According to sources, the Home Minister will visit Jharkhand on Saturday and Monday to campaign for ongoing elections.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India, which was scheduled to be held in Guwahati next week, has been postponed amid violent protests in the northeast over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. "Both sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future," foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. On Thursday, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and the country's Home Minister called off their visits to India in the midst of the agitations in the northeast.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday gave his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, turning it into an Act. The contentious law promises citizenship to migrants from three neighbouring countries but not if they are Muslims.

The contentious act has seen massive protests in the Northeast, particularly in Assam, where two protesters were killed and many others injured in police firing on Thursday evening. Protests against the act has also gained momentum in neighbouring Meghalaya, forcing authorities to block mobile internet and SMS services across the state for two days. In order to maintain law and order in the northeast, 12 additional companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were moved from Kashmir on Thursday, news agency IANS reported quoting its sources.

Chief Minister of West Bengal, Kerala and Punjab have also said they will have nothing to do with the BJP-led centre's alleged attempts to strip the country of its secular credentials.

The act seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

Here are the updates on the developments around the Citizenship Amendment Act:

Dec 13, 2019 22:04 (IST)
Public agitation affects train services in Howrah-Kharagpur section
Due to public agitation following the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, train services in the Howrah-Kharagpur section were disrupted on Friday.

According to a press release, nearly 200 to 250 people obstructed the railway line at Ulubaria in protest against the contentious Act.

Seven trains, including the Yesvantpur-Howrah Duronto express and the Howrah-Chennai Coromondal express, have been detained.

Apart from this, 11 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) local and passenger trains have been detained and controlled at various stations in the section.
Dec 13, 2019 19:43 (IST)
In Bengal's Howrah, railway station vandalised, tracks blocked by protestors
People, agitating against the amended Citizenship Act, on Friday blocked tracks at the
Uluberia railway station in West Bengal's Howrah, vandalised the complex and some trains, injuring a driver, officials said.

The blockade started around 3.22 pm and train movements in both the up and down lines are affected, South Eastern Railway spokesperson Sanjoy Ghosh said.

The driver of the 12841 Howrah-Chennai Corommandel  Express was injured as agitators hurled stones at the train, he said.

The platforms of the station were vandalised and an empty rake of the Humsafar Express was also damaged, he said.

"No passenger was injured in the incident, as per initial reports," Mr Ghosh said, adding that the railways have sought assistance of the state government to deal with the situation.

The Howrah-Kharagpur section of the South Eastern Railway is affected due to the blockade and several trains, including some suburban locals and the 22897 Howrah Digha Kandari Express are stuck, he said.

Thousands of people from the Muslim community also blocked the National Highway 6 in the area.
Dec 13, 2019 19:39 (IST)
Railway station in Bengal's Murshidabad set on fire by protestors
The Beldanga railway station complex in West Bengal's Murshidabad district was set on fire and RPF personnel deputed there were thrashed by thousands of people, protesting against the amended Citizenship Act on Friday, officials said.

"The protestors all of a sudden entered the railway station complex and set the platform, two-three buildings and railway offices on fire. When RPF personnel tried to stop them, they were brutally beaten up," said a senior RPF official.
Dec 13, 2019 19:09 (IST)
Strong action against those involved in violence: Sarbananda Sonowal
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday blamed opposition Congress and "communal forces" for the widespread violence in the state over the last two days, saying strong action will be taken against those involved in arson and vandalism during the anti-citizenship bill protests.

Mr Sonowal also said the violence was part of a political conspiracy against the BJP-led government in Assam and asserted that he was committed to protecting the rights of the indigenous people of the state.

"The Congress and some communal forces are behind the violence. Even some ultra Left have joined the mob. It is a political conspiracy," he told PTI.

The chief minister said the government will not tolerate any violence and strong action will be taken against anyone who is involved in vandalism.

"No one, who is involved in violence, will be spared," he said.
Dec 13, 2019 19:07 (IST)
Train services affected in Kolkata's Sealdah as protestors block tracks
Train services were affected in Sealdah division of the Eastern Railway on Friday, as people
protesting against the amended Citizenship Act blocked tracks at several places, leaving thousands stranded, officials said.

In the Krishnanagar-Lalgola section, tracks were blocked at Beldanga and Rejinagar stations around 3.20 pm and also near Murshidabad station at 4.30 pm, a spokesman said.

Train services were, however, on between Sealdah and Krishnanagar, he said.
Dec 13, 2019 19:05 (IST)
Students boycott exams, hit streets in Arunachal to protest
Protests against the amended Citizenship Act continued to rage across northeast, with students' unions in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday boycotting their examination to hit the streets across cities, seeking immediate revocation of the law.

Thousands of agitators, led by Rajiv Gandhi University Students' Union (RGUSU) and Students' Union of NERIST (SUN), marched from the varsity to Raj Bhavan, covering a distance of
around 30 km on the hilly terrain.
Dec 13, 2019 19:04 (IST)
Arunachal Chief Minister asks officials to ensure strict checking of ILPs
In view of the volatile situation in neighbouring Assam over the protests against the amended Citizenship Act, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday directed state officials to ensure strict checking of Inner Line Permits (ILP) in check gates across the
state.

To visit the ILP-regime states, outsiders, including people from other states of the country, need to take permission. The amended Citizenship Act will not applicable to Arunachal Pradesh as the ILP system is in force in the state.
Dec 13, 2019 18:38 (IST)
Several pleas filed in Supreme Court challenging Citizenship Act
Several petitions, including those by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh and Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, were filed in the Supreme Court on Friday challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019.

According to the amended Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and face religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Dec 13, 2019 18:37 (IST)
Amit Shah's Shillong Visit Cancelled Amid Citizenship Act Protests
Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Shillong, Meghalaya, on Sunday, has been cancelled, sources in the Home Ministry have said, amid raging protests over the Citizenship Act. He will also not visit Arunachal Pradesh on Monday."
Dec 13, 2019 17:36 (IST)
Amit Shah's Shillong visit cancelled
BREAKING: Home Minister Amit Shah's Shillong program cancelled. He was scheduled to visit Northeast Police academy on Sunday. He will be in Jharkhand tomorrow and on Monday.
Dec 13, 2019 14:03 (IST)
Closely analysing possible consequences of Citizenship Act: UN

The UN is closely analysing the possible consequences of India''s amended Citizenship Act, a spokesperson for UN chief Antonio Guterres has said, insisting that the world body has its basic principles, including those enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and expect those to be upheld.
Dec 13, 2019 13:26 (IST)
Dec 13, 2019 11:57 (IST)
BJP to launch campaign about amended Citizenship Act

The BJP is set to launch a public awareness programme to inform people about its features and benefits, and also "dispel the propaganda" that the legislation is against any community, new agency PTI reported.

Though the party intends to start a nation-wide campaign, it will run an intensive exercise in states where the legislation''s beneficiaries are in large numbers.

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh told PTI that the party will launch a mass contact programme and distribute literature about the law. He estimated that over two crore people can get Indian citizenship under the amended Act.

At many places, the campaign will start from Saturday, a day after the Winter Session of Parliament ends.
Dec 13, 2019 10:49 (IST)


Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra has approached the Supreme Court for urgent listing of her petition against the Citizenship Act. Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde has asked her lawyer to approach the Registrar for listing the case.
Dec 13, 2019 10:21 (IST)
Dec 13, 2019 09:52 (IST)
Japan PM may cancel India visit. He was scheduled to meet PM Modi in Guwahati


Japanese Prime Minister Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering cancelling his trip to India scheduled to begin on Sunday, Japan's Jiji Press reported. Guwahati, the planned venue for a summit between Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been engulfed in violent protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Dec 13, 2019 09:05 (IST)
"Dowse Fires, Not Play With Fire": Kapil Sibal to Amit Shah amid protests in Northeast

Amid protests over the Citizenship Act, Congress leader Kapil Sibal asked Home Minister Amit Shah to take measures to "unite the country".

Mr Sibal is representing the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in its petition before the Supreme Court.
Dec 13, 2019 08:53 (IST)
Dec 13, 2019 08:42 (IST)
Curfew has been relaxed in Dibrugarh and Jorhat in Assam. While the curfew was relaxed from 8 am to 1 pm in Dibrugarh, administration has imposed only night curfew in Jorhat.
Dec 13, 2019 08:38 (IST)

The contentious act has seen massive protests in the Northeast, particularly in Assam, where two protesters were killed and many others injured in police firing on Thursday evening. Protests against the act has also gained momentum in neighbouring Meghalaya, forcing authorities to block mobile internet and SMS services across the state for two days. In order to maintain law and order in the northeast, 12 additional companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were moved from Kashmir on Thursday, news agency IANS reported quoting its sources.
Dec 13, 2019 08:37 (IST)
President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday gave his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, turning it into an Act. The contentious law promises citizenship to migrants from three neighbouring countries but not if they are Muslims.
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