16 organisations call for 12-hour bandh on Tuesday

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Amit Shah to introduce CAB in LS, Assam bandh today

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI/ NEW DELHI Dec 8: As many as 16 Left-leaning organisations have called for a 12-hour Assam bandh on December 10 to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill even as Union Home Minister Amit Shah is all set to introduce the contentious Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday

The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) has already called for an 11-hour North East bandh from 5am on Tuesday on the same issue.

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and its sister organisations have extended their support to the bandh, called by these organisations and the North East students’ body, KMSS Adviser Akhil Gogoi said at a press conference on Sunday.

KMSS has also extended its support to the 12-hour Assam bandh on Monday, called by various tribal students’ bodies such as Sootea, Moran and Koch-Rajbongshi, he said. In a joint statement, 16 left-leaning organisations, including SFI, DYFI, AIDWA, AISF, AISA and IPTA, demanded “scrapping of the bill” and called for “the 12-hour Assam bandh” from 5 am on Tuesday.

The Assam State Jamiat Ulama also supported the North East bandh, called by the NESO on Tuesday. However, Nagaland has been exempted from the purview of the bandh in view of the ongoing Hornbill Festival there.

The All Chutia Students’ Union (ACSU) announced a 12-hour Assam bandh from 5 am in protest against the contentious bill.

Many nationalist organisations, including Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC), have extended their support to the bandh. ACSU general secretary Mahen Bora said that the people of Assam would not succumb to the Centre’s conspiracy.

Endorsing the NESO’s decision to observe bandh in the Northeastern states on December 10 to protest against the CAB, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Sunday appealed to the people of the state to support the agitation.

“The AAPSU, a constituent of the NESO, has directed all its federal units in the state to arrange requisite manpower for successful implementation of the bandh and we have appealed to the people to voluntarily cooperate with us and support the bandh,” AAPSU vice president Mije Taku told a press conference in Itanagar.

Terming the bill as an attempt by the Centre to disintegrate the people of the region, Taku said that the stand of the AAPSU on CAB is clear from day one.

The CAB would not be applicable to Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram where inner line permit (ILP) system exists and those tribal regions of Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura which are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

On this, Taku said, the AAPSU being a constituent of the NESO would oppose it as the bill would greatly affect other states of the region where Sixth Schedule is not in force.

“We are opposing the bill since day one and despite several meetings, the central leadership did not pay heed to the concern of the people of North East,” Taku said. The CAB seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there.

Members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship, according to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019.

To assuage feelings of tribals of the Northeast, where many feel that permanent settlement of illegal immigrants will disturb the region’s demography, the government has made provisions under which the Bill will not be applicable in the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime areas and those tribal regions that are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

Such refugees will be given Indian citizenship after they have resided in India for five years (six years in CAB 2016), instead of 11 years earlier, it said.

The Bill also proposes to give immunity to such refugees facing legal cases after being found illegal migrants. The Bill also proposes to incorporate a sub-section (d) to Section 7, providing for cancellation of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registration where the OCI card-holder has violated any provision of the Citizenship Act or any other law in force. (With inputs from PTI)

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