Citizenship Bill protest: Imphal civil society groups call for 36-hour shut down

Imphal, Feb 11, A 36-hour shutdown or Imphal Bandh was called for in Manipur by Peoples’ Alliance Manipur (PAM), an umbrella body of civil society organizations on Monday, to protest the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The decision was taken at a convention organized by PAM in Imphal on Saturday.

The umbrella body also decided that their members would begin a hunger strike at 50 places across the state on Tuesday. It was also decided that if the citizenship bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha, a massive public convention would be convened on February 20 to ascertain the next course of action, Time of India reported.

72 civil and student bodies across Manipur, under the aegis of Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 (MANPAC), on Sunday announced that they would hold fresh protests against the bill from Monday. Black flag protests will be held on Monday and all vehicles will be stopped from Tuesday, MANPAC convenor Yumnamcha Dilipkumar said at a media conference, the report said.

Dilipkumar said that the on-road agitations will continue indefinitely till the legislation is completely withdrawn. He asked the public to stop services, including commercial vehicles from plying, on February 12. He added that the organisation had boycotted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister, Rajnath Singh.

Naga civil society organisations, under the banner of Nagaland Gaon Burhas’ Federation, have also called for a state-wide bandh on Monday from 6 am to 4 pm, reported the Nagaland Post.

On Sunday, the state government had asked the federation to call off the strike. “We are united and very clear in our resolve to protect the interests of the state,” The Telegraph quoted Chief Secretary Temjen Toy as saying.

The state government said it would take up the matter for discussion during the budget session on February 21 and propose adoption of a resolution to oppose the bill.

The bill seeks to amend a 1955 law to grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from the Muslim-majority nations of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan if they have lived in India for six years. Most northeastern states have opposed the proposed legislation and it has sparked several protests in the region.

Source: Sabrang India

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