A group of activists of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and organisations allied to it took everyone by surprise by staging a nude protest outside Parliament on Monday against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The nude protest in Delhi coincided with tabling of a report on the bill by a joint parliamentary committee in the Lok Sabha, reviving memories of 12 middle-aged, naked women, carrying a white banner with “Indian Army Rape Us” painted in red on it, in Imphal in 2004 to protest against the rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama in Manipur.
Security personnel in Delhi were caught off-guard when the group of protesters stripped naked around 11am and shouted slogans like “Narendra Modi murdabad” and “Bangladeshis Go Back”. They held banners demanding repeal of the bill.
After a few minutes of protests, they were apprehended by the police, bundled into a bus and taken to Parliament Street police station, where they were detained for about one-and-a-half hours before being released.
“Altogether 14 activists of organisations like the KMSS, Tai-Ahom Yuba Parishad (TAYP), Anusuchit Jati Yuba Chatra Parishad Asom, Oikya Sena Asom and the Durniti Birodhi Nagarik Mancha stripped naked during today’s protest,” TAYP’s working president Luhit Gogoi told The Telegraph from Delhi.
He said the bill was “anti-Assam” and detrimental to peace and harmony. He said the latest developments had exposed the double standards of the BJP-led governments at Centre and in the state.
KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi said in Guwahati, “The nude protest was organised to show the nakedness of the present government. Its vested interests stand exposed.”
“From tomorrow, we will organise an economic blockade. We will block transportation of almost everything, right from agriculture produces to coal and oil, from the state to the rest of the country,” he added.
The Assam BJP criticised the nude protest as “uncivilised”.
“It wan an uncivilised act. There are so many ways to protest democratically and peacefully but by staging nude protest, they have brought disrepute to the state,” Assam BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami said.
He alleged that the anti-bill protests were sponsored by the Congress.
Congress members in Assam took out a torch rally against the citizenship bill here on Monday evening. Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi led the rally from Manabendra Sarma Complex to Dispur.
During the day, Congress MPs from Assam, including former PCC chief Bhubaneswar Kalita, protested against the bill outside Parliament.
Opposition parties extended moral support to Tuesday’s bandh called by the AASU, hailing it stands on the 1985 Assam Accord and its protest against any move to dilute the pact signed during the tenure of the then Congress Prime Minister, late Rajiv Gandhi.