Protests Against Citizenship Bill In North-East States

An 18-hour shutdown has been called in Manipur by protesting groups, though the state government has said all government offices and schools will remain open during the shutdown

Protests broke out in northeastern states against the Citizenship Amendment Bill

Guwahati:

The states in the north-east saw protest over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill after months of calm as the winter session of parliament began on Monday. Members of the Northeast Students' Organisation (NESO) took out rallies in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and other north-east states after the bill was listed for introduction in parliament for the winter session.

An 18-hour shutdown has been called in Manipur by protesting groups, though the state government has said all government offices and schools will remain open during the shutdown.

In BJP-ruled Arunachal Pradesh, the report of the consultative committee on Citizens Amendment Bill headed by Home Minister Bamang Felix was submitted to the state government during the cabinet meeting on Monday. The cabinet had a threadbare discussion on the report, sources said.

In a statement, the Arunachal Pradesh government said that considering the sensitivity of the issue, it was decided to have a final discussion with all the stakeholders and forward the recommendations arrived through the discussions to the Home Ministry.

The final consultative meeting with all the stakeholders under the chairmanship of Home Minister Bamang Felix will be held on November 20, the statement said.

In Meghalaya, the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations called for a night road blockade across the state on November 18 and 19. The blockade is from 7 pm to 6 am. The state government has imposed prohibitory orders in East Khasi Hills districts, fearing breakdown of law and order in state capital Shillong. The state government has banned sale of petrol and diesel in bottles.

Officials who have been assigned government vehicles have been asked to ensure the safety of the vehicle or park them inside police station.

In Assam on Monday, members of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) marched up to a point near the Raj Bhavan in Guwahati from where a small group submitted a memorandum to Governor Jagdish Mukhi. They said they want the bill to be scrapped.

"The government has forced us to return to protest mode. North-east is not dumping ground of Bangladeshis. We don't want NE to become a second Jammu and Kashmir. They need Bangladeshi votebank. BJP should realize there is a part of country beyond Kolkata," AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya told NDTV.

In Mizoram, a citizen rights group accused the government of giving preference to illegal "aliens" over legal citizens.

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