An umbrella body of students’ organisations called for an 11 hour Northeast bandh in Assam against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The 11 hour band started at 5:00 A.M., on the 10th of December.
After the Lok Sabha cleared the Citizenship Bill with a majority of 311 votes, students’ organisations started protesting against the Central Government and demanded the Bill be suspended.
The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO,) backed by parties and organisations such as the Congress, AIUDF, All Assam Students Union, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union, Khasi Students Union and the Naga Students Federation, participated in the bandh.
The police deployed a large team of personnel to control the situation in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.
The reason the students’ organisations are protesting against the Bill is their concern about their culture, tradition and identity, which may be disturbed after the entry of these refugees from neighbouring countries.
As many as 16 left leaning organisations including the Students’ Federation of India (SFI,) the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI,) the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA,) the All India Students Federation (AISF,) the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) called for a 12 hour shut down with NESO.
In the wake of the bandh, the Gauhati University and the Dibrugarh University of Assam postponed all examinations scheduled on the 10th of December.
This is the second time the students’ organisations in Assam called for a protest against the Citizenship Bill. Previously, in January 2019, when the Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Bill, the citizens and students’ organisations in Assam launched a protest. The Bill lapsed in the Rajya Sabha at the time.
The bandh, which started at 5:00 A.M., would continue till 4:00 P.M., on the 10th of December.
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