Bomb hurled at BJP office in Meghalaya, protests against Bill

Bomb hurled at BJP office in Meghalaya, protests against Bill

Activists of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) burn a dummy copy of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

"People from seven states spontaneously took part in the shutdown, sending a strong message that we won't accept political injustice and any move to protect illegal Bangladeshis", he added.

In Tuesday's protests in Assam, the militant North East Students' Organization (NESO) vandalised offices of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and set banners and posters on fire. "Our party was formed in 1985 with this promise of freeing Assam from illegal migrants from Bangladesh", AGP president Atul Bora said.

"The beneficiaries of Citizenship Amendment Bill can reside in any state of the country". Later, opposing the bill, members of Congress and TMC staged a walkout. It also had no impact in southern Assam's Barak Valley, which has been supporting the Citizenship Bill since the inception.

The protests got a new lease of life after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Bill would be passed, during an election rally in Silchar in Assam recently.

However, state BJP president Ranjit Dass, specifically warning the Congress and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti which were allegedly behind the acts of violence on his party's offices, said, "Do not provoke us".

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a key ally of the BJP in Assam snapped its ties as soon as the BJP confirmed its decision to move the Bill through Parliament.

It referred to the understanding arrived at prior to the Assam Assembly election, 2016, and said the AGP had chose to go for the alliance during a discussion with the BJP in New Delhi on "the basis of clear understanding of the Assam Accord, other major issues of Assam, including the seat adjustments".

More news: Man City boss Guardiola happy for Diaz to join Real Madrid

The AGP has 14 MLAs in the 126-member assembly while the BJP has the support of 74 MLAs. He also clarified that the government had acceded to the opposition demand for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, to grant tribal status to six OBC communities - Tea Tribes /Adivasi, Tai-Ahom, Chutia, Koch-Rajbongshi, Moran and Motok. "The proposed amendment will make these persecuted migrants eligible to apply for citizenship", Rajnath Singh said.

The announcement followed AGP leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta's statement that the party would withdraw support to the government in the state if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in passed by Lok Sabha.

IPFT Assistant General Secretary Mangal Debbarma told IANS that National Federation for New States (NFNS), a conglomerate of many small parties in the northeastern region and other states, has also been opposing the Bill.

The legislation, which still needs the approval of the upper house, seeks to grant rights to Hindus, Jains, Parsis and several other non-Muslim religious groups who migrated illegally from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The BJP has already declared its Mission 21 - party chief Amit Shah's target of winning 21 of 25 Lok Sabha seats - in the region in 2019.

The issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh has spurred periodic public uprisings in Assam since the Indian government granted rights to Bangladeshis who entered the country after winning independence from Pakistan in a 1971 war.

The AGP had placed its reservations on the Bill before the Joint Parliamentary Committee when the panel had visited the state and also tried to mobilise opinion against the Bill among NDA constituents such as the JD (U) and Shiv Sena, and opposition parties.

Related Articles