NESO bandh disrupts normal life in NE

GUWAHATI/SHILLONG, JAN 8 (NPN) | Publish Date: 1/8/2019 10:36:32 AM IST


The passing of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday was marked by a “bandh”, which brought life to a standstill in the north-eastern states.

The 11-hour bandh called by the NESO was enforced by its member organisations, including the AASU, the Mizo Zirlai Pawal (MZP), the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), the Garo Students’ Union (GSU), the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) and the Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF). In Tripura, seven persons -- a Tripura State Rifles personnel and six TSF activists -- were injured at Madhabbari in West Tripura district, when the police and paramilitary personnel resorted to lathicharge and opened fire to disperse a group of students who had blocked the Assam-Agartala national highway.

Condemning the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) on Tuesday warned of more agitation across the North-eastern states on “another political injustice meted out by the Indian government on the indigenous people of the region.”

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that seeks to remove hurdles in eligible migrants from six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan getting Indian citizenship despite opposition by various political parties including Congress and Trinamool Congress.

“The passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha is another political injustice meted out by the Indian government on the indigenous people of the northeastern states,” NESO chairman, Samuel Jyrwa said.

“This (passage of the Bill) is a clear move of the government and their intention is reduce the indigenous people of the northeast to a minority in our own land,” he said. Warning of severe agitation across the North-eastern states, Jyrwa said the apex students’ body of the indigenous student groups across the seven north-eastern states will soon meet and decide on the next future course of action against the government.

“NESO will not be quiet but we will keep on following up on this very vital issue and will take appropriate decisions with full faith that we will continue to have your unstinted support so as to protect our distinct identity and our future generations,” he said.

“In spite of the wide protest in North East (on Tuesday), the Indian government passed this Bill in the Lok Sabha which only goes to show that they have no regard for the Indigenous peoples of the North East but rather this move is intentionally done to reduce the indigenous peoples of the northeast to a minority in our own land,” he said.

NESO condemned the unwarranted firing on unarmed tribal protestors by the Tripura police.

It is highly condemnable and it is evident from this incident that the indigenous communities of Tripura are not only marginalized but also oppressed and suppressed by the Tripura government headed by non-indigenous Tripuris,” Jyrwa said. NESO condemns passage Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, warns of more agitations.

Seven injured in clashes in Tripura

At least seven persons were injured, some with gunshot wounds, on Tuesday in West Tripura district, about 15 km from Agartala, when police and paramilitary jawans resorted to lathicharge and opened fire in the air to disperse Citizenship Bill protesters.

Those injured included a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) personnel and six Twipra Student Federation (TSF) members who blocked the Assam-Agartala National Highway at Madhabbari in Jirania police station area of the district to oppose the Bill, a senior police officer said.

After several failed attempts to convince the protesters to withdraw the blockade on the National Highway, police resorted to lathicharge, burst tear gas cells and opened fire in the air, AIG (Law and Order) Subrata Chakraborty said.

“Although the exact number of injured is yet to be ascertained, most of them were initially admitted at

Khumulwung hospital in Jirania and later shifted to G B Pant hospital and Agartala Medical College here,” he said.

The situation is tense but under control with Assam Rifles personnel posted in the region, he said.

TSF General Secretary Sunil Debbarma, on his part, said the six bandh supporters suffered bullet injuries without any provocation.

Debbarma also said that the TSR personnel attacked the ambulance which was ferrying the injured activists from one hospital to another.


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