Amid violent protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Army has been deployed in northeastern states of Assam and Tripura. While two columns have been sent to Kanchanpur and Manu areas of Tripura, a third has been dispatched to Bongaingon in Assam. The move to deploy the Army has come after violent clashes erupted in these areas between the protesters and police.
Thousands in Guwahati took to streets against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The protesters clashed with police and blocked the key GS road in the capital city of Assam, largest state in the North East. The police lathi-charged and fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters demanding rollback of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Several students were reportedly injured in the brutal police lathcharge. "This is a barbaric government led by Sarbananda Sonowal. We will not succumb to any pressure till the CAB is repealed," the students said.
Students in large numbers were seen proceeding towards the Secretariat from all directions. Another group has reached Ganeshguri area, around 500 metres from the centre of power. They broke a barricade on GS Road following which the police resorted to lathi charge. Teargas shells were also lobbed at the students who also threw the shells back at the policemen.
Apart from Guwahati, clashes between police and protestors also erupted in Dibrugarh district. The police fired tear gas shells and rubber bullets at demonstrators. Though no organisation has called for a bandh on Wednesday, people have come out in large numbers in Jorhat, Golaghat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Bongaigaon, Nagaon, Sonitpur and several other districts since morning.
The North-East region is witnessing massive protests over the controversial bill that was cleared by the Lok Sabha on Monday and is up for debate and passage in the Rajya Sabha today. In Tripura, normal life was hit following statewide indefinite bandh called by tribal parties and organisations against the bill. The Tripura administration shut down internet service for 48 hours in wake of protests against the against the bill.
A cross-section of Opposition parties-led by the Congress has also Opposed the bill, terming it "unconstitutional" and religiously motivated. Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi slammed the Narendra Modi government over the bill and said: "The CAB is a attempt by Modi-Shah Govt to ethnically cleanse the North East. It is a criminal attack on the North East, their way of life and the idea of India.”
The Citizenship (Amendment) seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. THe citizenship will be granted only to those non-Muslims who came to India till December 31 2014.