With the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill clearing the Lok Sabha test on Monday, a student's body has called for an 11-hour shutdown across Northeast. The bandh started at 5 am today and will continue till 4 pm.
The helmer of this strike is the North East Students' Organisation (NESO), and it has got the support of various political parties and groups.
Here are more details.
Context: The contentious Bill got Lok Sabha's nod at midnight
Tabled in the Lower House by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Bill got 311 votes in its favor and 80 against it.
Shah, in his address, evoked India's partition and reminded of Congress' past to justify the Centre's move.
Meanwhile, opposing parties like Trinamool, Congress, AIMIM, and Samajwadi Party called the proposed amendments an assault on the Indian Constitution and secular fabric.
Northeast has been fuming before Bill was even introduced
Even before the Bill was introduced in the Parliament, residents of Northeast opposed it staunchly. They are protesting against it as they believe granting Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslims from neighboring countries would lead to an influx of Bangladeshi immigrants and adversely affect the area's demography.
Naturally, after Shah managed to get the Bill passed in LS, Northeast prepped for a shutdown.
Since Bill "dishonors" Northeast's demands, shutdown was called for: NESO
NESO has called for the shutdown in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura.
Nagaland has been left out due to the ongoing annual Hornbill Festival, which is attended by thousands of tourists from across the globe.
The influential body's chairman, Samuel Jyrwa, told IE the shutdown was called as the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill "dishonored the demands of people of Northeast".
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Separately, 16 left-leaning parties have also called for a strike
The strike called by NESO isn't the only one. A total of 16 left-leaning parties, including SFI, DYFI, AIDWA, AISF, AISA, and IPTA, have also called for a 12-hour bandh in Assam, which coincides with NESO's plans. Separately, Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University postponed exams.
In fact, a BJP ally protested against CAB yesterday
The frequent protests have naturally thrown normal life out of gear. In Tripura, for example, a strike called by Indigenous Peoples' Front of Tripura (IPFT), which is in coalition with BJP, stopped the public movement for several hours yesterday.
Justifying the strike IPFT spokesperson Mangal Debbarma said, "If CAB is implemented, people from Bangladesh will throw us in a further identity crisis."
Separately, Manipur is celebrating Inner Line Permit
Meanwhile, a holiday was declared in Manipur today to celebrate the Inner Line Permit system (ILP). The ILP, which is already at place in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, specifies that non-locals need a special permit for entry.
On this development, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said, "This is a victory of the people of Manipur who have been struggling for a long time."