Several parts of Assam witnessed massive protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill on December 9 as many organizations, including civil society; students opposed the tabling of the controversial bill in the Lok Sabha.
Business establishments were closed, protesters burnt tyres, blocked roads and rail movements, clashed with police, and slogans were raised against the controversial bill in various parts of the state.
Thousands of protesters, comprising both men and women, blocked the National Highway in several parts of Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dhemaji, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh, among other places, as they raised slogans against the move by the BJP-led government at the Centre. “We will never accept the bill. Sarbananda Sonowal became chief minister by being a part of this movement against refugees. Now, he is taking a U-turn,” said one of the protesters in front of television cameras in Jorhat.
Protesters in the Upper Assam town of Moran stopped the movement of trains. Dibrugarh-bound Rajdhani Express and a Patna-bound trains were stopped by the protesters near the station. “We want to let the central and state governments know that we will never accept the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Sarbananda Sonowal and Himanta Biswa Sarma should let the Narendra Modi government know that people of Assam will never accept the bill,” said one of the protesters.
A boundary wall of the Assam Secretariat was also defaced with anti-CAB slogans in Dispur on December 9 morning.
Northeast Students’ Organization has called for a 11-hour Northeast Bandh on December 10 against the bill.
The controversial bill seeks to grant citizenship to religious minorities (non-Muslims) from neighbouring Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is all set to move the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill on Monday, in the Lok Sabha. The matter is listed in the day’s business for the Lok Sabha.
This move comes days after the Union Cabinet last Wednesday approved the bill. Responding to questions after the Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had said the Citizenship Amendment Bill takes care of India’s interests.