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Published On: Tue, Dec 10th, 2019

North East erupts in protest against CAB : SMS, internet suspended

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images (14)AGARTALA: The Biplab Deb government has decided to block mobile internet and SMS services across Tripura for 24 hours in view of violent protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill.
The move came amid violence that erupted during an 11-hour shutdown called by influential student groups in the Northeast to protest the central government’s move which, they allege, could rob the region of its ethnic identity.
The communications clampdown came into effect even as many demonstrators raised slogans against the centre in Agartala, demanding that the state be kept out of the purview of the controversial bill.
Earlier, protesters set fire to a market with shops mostly owned by non-tribals in the northeast state’s Dhalai district. Life in Assam’s Guwahati and many parts of the Northeast had come to a standstill earlier today, Angry protesters burnt tyres on arterial roads, and according to a statement issued by the North East Frontier Railway, several trains had to be cancelled due to protesters blocking the tracks.
Massive protests were taken out in various parts of Assam, with protesters raising slogans and scuffling with security forces near the secretariat and assembly buildings. Agitators clashed with CISF personnel in Dibrugarh district.
The CAB proposes to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants who came to India from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan before 2015. Many across the country, including imminent personalities, rights activists and opposition politicians, have demanded its immediate withdrawal in view of its “discriminatory” nature.
Although Union Home Minister Amit Shah has declared that much of the Northeast would be exempt from the proposed law, protesters remain convinced that it will result in a surge of illegal migrants into the region.
Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi termed the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill as a “dangerous” development that will encourage people from neighbouring Bangladesh to flood the state.
The protests come even as the revised Citizenship (Amendment) Bill excluded all states with an Inner Line Permit (Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland) and the Sixth Schedule regions in Tripura, Assam, and Meghalaya. This was seen as an attempt to placate the residents of the North East, where an earlier version of the Bill had faced vociferous opposition in January.

In Assam’s Brahmaputra Valley, normal life came to a halt owing to a statewide bandh called by students’ unions and Left-democratic organisations. The shutdown, led by the All Assam Students’ Union and the North East Students’ Organisation, has coincided with the bandh called by Left-leaning organisations, including SFI, DYFI, AIDWA, AISF and AISA. The strike, however, did not have much impact on the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley.

North East erupts in protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: SMS, internet suspended in Tripura; protests in Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal throw normal life out of gear Demonstrators burn tyres and raise slogans during a strike called by All Assam Students Union (AASU) and the North East Students Organisation (NESO) in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, in Guwahati. PTI
Tripura
In Tripura, protesters took a dig at the chief minister on Tuesday and shouted slogans of “Biplab Deb Bangladeshi, go back, go back,” reported The Indian Express. Deb has ancestral roots in Bangladesh’s Chandpur, and his father Hirudhan Deb migrated to India during the 1971 war.
Authorities in Tripura have suspended SMS and mobile internet connectivity for 48 hours, starting from 2 pm on Tuesday. A government notification, issued by the Additional Secretary to the Government of Tripura AK Bhattacharya said, the entire state and for maintaining the law and order situation… is hereby directed to promulgate this notification under the provision of Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 to prohibit the following types of media for the next 48 hours beginning from 1400 hours on 10 December, 2019 in the entire state of Tripura.”

Meanwhile, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) announced an 11-hour statewide bandh in support of the North East Students’ Organisation’s (NESO) protest. Addressing the media, AAPSU vice-president Meje Taku said, “The AAPSU stands with the NESO and the people of the Northeast region in the fight against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
“The shutdown is for the cause of the North East’s indigenous people and the greater interest of the region. We appeal to every individual to support the NESO and the AAPSU movement.” “The BJP government at the Centre passed the Bill despite strong opposition from the northeastern states,” he added.
(Bureau Report With Agency Inputs ).

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