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Bandh in Northeast on January 8 over citizenship bill

The North East Students’ Union has also called a strike over the issue on that day across the Northeast

By Avishek Sengupta and Ali Fauz Hassan in Guwahati
  • Published 6.01.19, 12:03 AM
  • Updated 6.01.19, 12:03 AM
  • a min read
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Activists burn Narendra Modi’s effigy in Nagaon on Saturday to protest against the citizenship bill. UB Photos

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has called an 11-hour strike on January 8 in Assam in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The North East Students’ Union (Neso) also called a strike over the issue on that day across the Northeast.

Both the strikes will be held from 5am till 4pm.

The protesters also called January 7, the day on which the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the bill is expected to table its report up for debate in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, a “black day”.

“We will burn copies of the report as part of our protest on January 7. Assam’s people will never allow this bill to be implemented. We have also organised a mass gathering in Guwahati where people from all walks of life are expected to join,” AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath said.

“We had been opposing the bill since it was proposed. We also condemn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that the bill will be passed soon. This bill is very dangerous as it will turn the indigenous people of the Northeast into minorities,” Neso secretary general Sinam Prakash Singh said.

“The Janata Dal United’s Northeast executive council condemns the JPC’s decision to go ahead with the submission of the bill in Parliament,” JDU council chairman Senchumo Lotha and the party’s general secretary Afaque Ahmed Khan said in a release on Saturday.

“The report has been arbitrarily summed up, rejecting all amendments moved by different members and it is, therefore, bereft of all rationality,” the release added.

The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) on Saturday announced it would support the Northeast bandh called by Neso on Tuesday.

JPC criticised: The Axom Nagarik Samaj, a citizens' group in Assam, on Saturday came down heavily on the JPC for “totally ignoring” the stand of people of Assam.

Accusing the BJP-led government of playing “divisive politics” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech in Barak Valley on Friday, they appealed for unity and concerted protests to “defeat the BJP’s plan.”

The organisation’s stand on the issue was explained by its president Hare Krishna Deka, working president Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, general secretary Paresh Malakar, vice-president Prashanta Rajguru and professor Apurba Kumar Baruah in a news conference here on Saturday.

Additional reporting by Bhadra Gogoi in Dimapur