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As Northeast Burns Over Citizenship Bill, Modi Government Blames Congress

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi Alleged That The Congress Was Instigating Violence In Northeast After Passage Of The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Shashikant Sharma | Updated on: 12 Dec 2019, 01:39:46 PM
Police fired tear gas shells on people opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

New Delhi:

The Narendra Modi government on Thursday accused Opposition Congress of instigating violence in northeast states after the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi alleged that the Congress was instigating violence in the region and the government condemns it.

Following Joshi’s allegations, the Congress party staged a walk out of the proceedings in the Lok Sabha. Earlier during the Zero Hour, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had raised the issue of violence in parts of northeast over the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Tens of thousands of protesters hit the streets in Assam opposing the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Bill was cleared by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and will become law after getting nod from the President. However, people of north eastern states, especially Assam and Tripura are demanding its revocation as they fear being "overrun" by non-Muslims from neighbouring Bangladesh.

The protesters clashed with the police and set afire several government vehicles. It is being said that the magnitude of the protests is the same as the violent six-year movement that resulted in the signing of the Assam accord in 1985.

The protesters attacked the house of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. They also pelted stones at the houses of several BJP leaders. The house of Union minister Rameswar Teli in Assam's Duliajan was also attacked by the anti-CAB protesters.

As the protests spread across the state, the Army has been deployed in Guwahati, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Jorhat districts in Assam. An indefinite curfew has been imposed in Guwahati and internet services has been suspended in 10 districts of Assam in a bid to curb communication between the protesters.

A railway station in Dibrugarh’s Chabua, the hometown of the chief minister, was set on fire by protestors late in the night. The Panitola railway station in Tinsukia district was also torched, a Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson said. Some student leaders, who went live on national TV, claimed many agitators were injured in police action in front of the secretariat.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reassured the people of Assam that their rights will be protected by his government. Ironically, the prime minister chose tweet his message, even as the internet remained suspended in as many as 10 districts of Assam and entire Tripura.

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First Published : 12 Dec 2019, 01:39:46 PM