Guwahati, February 9, 2019
The 12-hour Assam Bandh to protest Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Northeast visit, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and granting of ST Status affected normal life in Upper Assam on February 9th, 2019 as public vehicles remained off roads, while stones were thrown at vehicles. The Bandh was called by the Tai Ahom Yuba Parishad.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) along with several other organization also extended their support to the bandh demanding to scrap of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and granting of Scheduled Status (ST) to the six indigenous communities of Assam which includes the Tai-Ahom, Chutiya, Moran, Muttock, Koch-Rajbonghsis, and tea tribes.
The demonstrators burnt tyres on roads in various places of the state. Several agitators were picked up from various places in the state for blocking roads and attempting to shut shops. Shops and business establishments in many places, including in several parts of Upper Assam, remained closed.
On the other hand, the picketers hurled stones and boulders to duty-bound private and public vehicles. Picketers were seen blocking vehicles in Tinsukia. “We would continue this fight until our demands are fulfilled and the Citizenship Bill is revoked. If the need arises, we will even intensify our stir further,” said a leader of Tai Ahom Yuba Parishad.
The bandh supporters also staged a protest in Nagaon and raised anti-BJP slogans and hoisted black flags. The affect of the bandh was also witnessed in Sivasagar and Charaideo districts.
The Citizenship Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.
Inputs: Keshab Mahanta, Biswajit Das, Hansang Konwar