The 11-hour Northeast bandh called by an umbrella body of student’s organizations of the region to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill began at 5 am on Tuesday.
The North East Student’s Organisation (NESO), backed by various other bodies and political parties, will observe the shutdown till 4 pm against the Bill which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Security was beefed up in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. Nagaland has been made free from the purview of the bandh in view of the ongoing Hornbill Festival there.
The Manipur People Against CAB (Manpac), which was spearheading the agitation in the state, has announced a suspension of its stir on Monday after Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the to be brought under Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there. They will be given Indian citizenship after residing in the country for five years, instead of 11 years which is the current norm.
People of the Northeastern states are scared that the entry of these people will endanger their identity and livelihood. Various organizations of the region have launched a series of agitations against the Bill.
Parties and organizations such as the Congress, AIUDF, All Assam Students Union, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union, Khasi Students Union, and the Naga Students Federation are backing the NESO to observe the bandh. A total of 16 left-leaning organizations such as the SFI, DYFI, AIDWA, AISF, AISA and the IPTA has also called a 12-hour bandh in Assam, coinciding with the NESO-organised shutdown.