- I stand in solidarity with the people of the North East: Rahul Gandhi
- Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to be taken up for debate in the Rajya Sabha
- Violent protests have erupted in northeastern states against the bill
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is a "criminal attack on the northeast" and an attempt by the government to "ethnically cleanse" the region, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Wednesday, hours before a debate on the controversial bill in parliament. "The CAB is an attempt by Modi-Shah Govt to ethnically cleanse the North East. It is a criminal attack on the North East, their way of life and the idea of India. I stand in solidarity with the people of the North East and am at their service," Rahul Gandhi, a Congress Lok Sabha MP, tweeted.
The CAB or Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is to be taken up for debate and passing in the Rajya Sabha after it cleared the Lok Sabha test on Monday.
The CAB is a attempt by Modi-Shah Govt to ethnically cleanse the North East. It is a criminal attack on the North East, their way of life and the idea of India.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 11, 2019
I stand in solidarity with the people of the North East and am at their service.https://t.co/XLDNAOzRuZ
Violent protests have erupted in northeastern states against the bill, which seeks to make it easier for non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to become Indian citizens.
The Tripura government on Tuesday blocked mobile internet and SMS services across the state for 48 hours because of the protests. An unwell two-month-old baby died while being taken to a hospital in Sepahijala as protests blocked traffic, police said.
A shutdown was called by influential student groups in the Northeast who allege that the government's move could rob the region of its ethnic identity. Protesters say the bill's passing would be "dangerous" as it would lead to a deluge from neighbouring Bangladesh.
Protests have also hit life in Assam, where angry protesters burnt tyres on arterial roads and several trains had to be cancelled due to protesters blocking the tracks. Protesters also clashed with security forces near the secretariat and assembly buildings.
Educational institutions, banks, commercial establishments and markets were closed and vehicles were off the roads in most places in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Lok Sabha passed the bill around midnight on Monday after nearly seven hours of heated discussions, with 311 voting for it and 80 against.