Assam bandh Highlights: Citizenship Amendment Bill passed in Lok Sabhahttps://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/assam/assam-bandh-live-updates-lok-sabha-to-table-citizenship-amendment-bill-today-5527814/

Assam bandh Highlights: Citizenship Amendment Bill passed in Lok Sabha

Assam bandh Highlights: Citizenship Bill passed in Lok Sabha amid protests by Opposition.

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Outraged with BJP, protestors burn party posters in Tinsukia in Assam.

Assam bandh Highlights: The government passed the Citizenship Bill in the Lok Sabha amid protests by the opposition. At least five people, including two who sustained bullet injuries, were reportedly injured during a clash between policemen and North East Students’ Organization (NESO) supporters at the headquarters of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC), 25 km away from Agartala. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) along with 30 other organisations called for a state-wide 11 hours shutdown on Tuesday, from 5 am to 4 pm, protesting against the scheduled tabling of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament.

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Assam, on Monday, witnessed public protests and demonstrations by civil society groups and AASU against the Bill and black flags were raised in Guwahati against the NDA government. On Monday, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) withdrew from the alliance with Bharatiya Janata Party in Assam as it failed to convince the Centre that the Bill would “nullify the ongoing updating of the National Register of Citizens”, AGP president Atul Bora said on Monday. Referring to a meeting he had with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Bora said that the Bill will be passed in the Lower House today.

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Assam Bandh Highlights: Lok Sabha introduces the Citizenship Bill  

SMS and mobile internet services suspended in Tripura

Tripura government suspended SMS and mobile internet services for the next 48 hours following violence over the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

BJP spokesperson Mehdi Alam Bora resigns over Citizenship Bill

Soon after the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, BJP spokesperson Mehdi Alam Bora resigned in protest against the development. He, in his resignation letter, said, "I oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill. I truly feel that it will harm the Assamese society."

AGP committed 'historic blunder' by not supporting Citizenship Bill: Himanta Biswa Sarma

State Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has committed a "historic blunder" by not extending support to the bill and has betrayed the Assamese.

Citizenship Amendment Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

The government introduced the Citizenship Bill in the Lok Sabha amid protests.

Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) accuses Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of "not cooperating" on the Citizenship Bill.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) accused Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of not respecting the interests of the Assamese people and "not cooperating" on the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Five people reported injured during clash between policemen and NESO supporters

At least five people, including two who sustained bullet injuries, were reportedly injured during a clash between policemen and North East Students’ Organization (NESO) supporters at the headquarters of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC). Police resorted to a mild lathi charge after agitators blocked the national highway and burnt down shops.  

Minorities don't have an option: BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab

Biju Janata Dal MP from Cuttack Bhartruhari Mahtab said he had recommended to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to include Sri Lanka in the Bill. "The minorities don't have an option," he added. As many as six members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which examined the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, gave their dissent notes on the report of the panel. Mahtab had stated that the Bill contravened provisions of the principal Act and ran counter to the spirit of the 1985 Assam Accord.

Protests turn violent in Assam

The protest over the Citizenship Bill turned violent as agitators clashed with the police, gheraoed Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal's house at his native place in Dibrugarh, blocked national highways and damaged vehicles during the 11-hour northeast bandh called by the All Assam Students' Union (AASU).

People vent their ire against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Aizawl, Guwahati

Members of the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (Mizo students' Association) burn a copy of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Aizawl.
Protestors in front of Guwahati University (Express Photo)

Congress walks out of Lok Sabha amid Citizenship Bill debate

Congress walked out of Lok Sabha during debate over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016. Before the Congress walked out of the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge requested the Speaker to send the Citizenship Bill to a select committee as it was related to a Constitutional matter. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "The countries where minorities were subjected to violence have only been able to find safe shelter in India. We regulated their entry, stay in India, but despite these changes, they cannot apply for citizenship as they are considered migrants."

No person will face discrimination, law will imply to all states: Rajnath Singh in LS

"Assam is facing problems due to illegal migrants. This law is for people of India and no person will face discrimination under this Bill. The law will imply to all states, it is not restricted to Assam. The bill is introduced to guard people's interest," Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Tuesday in Lok Sabha. 

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was tabled today in Lower House as scheduled.  The Home Minister had earlier said Clause 6 "wasn't fully implemented" and the notification came days after the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to set up a high-level committee.

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Glimpse of protest in outskirts of Guwahati

Assam: Protesters burn BJP posters, block railways tracks

Protesters in Assam, Tinsukia, have burnt tyres, vandalised a hospital canteen and burnt BJP posters in the town. Railway tracks in Makum, Assam have been blocked by agitators. 





(Express photo)

No miscreant who disturbs the peace can escape the hands of law: Assam Police

The Assam Police took to Twitter stating no person can escape the hands of law disturbing the peace of the state. Further, it requested people to not support such "anti-social elements".

Watch: Protesters burn tyres at DC office in Dibrugarh, Assam

In pictures: Effects of bandh in Manipur

Government offices saw a thin number of employees.

AMSU volunteers blocked roads by piling stones to hinder early morning traffic, however, the police removed all roadblocks in some time.

The northeast 11-hour bandh has left its mark on Manipur as well and normal life has been disrupted as business establishments remained shut and public transport was off streets.

(Express photos)

Watch: All India Trinamool Congress protest in Parliament

AIUDF, TMC protest against Bill in Parliament

Protesters pelt stones, burn tyres across Assam

People have been pelting stones at moving vehicles and trucks in Nalbari, district in Assam. Several vehicles, including private vehicles and auto rickshaws, have been damaged by protesters in Azara, outskirts of Guwahati. Agitators across Assam are carrying demonstrations by burning tyres and voicing slogans in Baksa, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tezpur, Golaghat. 

The 11-hour bandh started amid tight security at 5 am. Tyres were burnt at various places in Assam and vehicles were damaged in Guwahati, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts, the police said, as quoted by PTI.

Apart from vehicles, railway tracks were blocked for a while in Guwahati and Dibrugarh district, however, trains resumed after the GRP removed protesters from the tracks, railway sources said, as quoted by PTI. Train and flight schedules remain unaffected. Shops, market, financial institutions, educational institutions, private offices remained closed and private vehicles, including buses, kept off roads. People faced difficulty reaching their workplace as there was no availability of public transport, bringing normal life in the state to a halt.

Explained | Delve into the details of Clause 6 of 1985 Assam Accord

Clause 6 of the Assam Accord states that immigrants up to the cutoff date, March 24, 171, would get all rights as Indian citizens, as explained by former Chief Minister Prafulla Mahanta, one of the signatories to the 1985 Accord as then All Assam Students Union (AASU) president. Therefore, he said, Clause 6 was inserted to safeguard the socio-political rights and culture of the “indigenous people of Assam”.

The movement on the clause started in 1998, when the Home Ministry set up a committee under G K Pillai to implement Clause 6 fully; in 2006, the state government set up committee to help define "Assamese" and five years later, it constituted a Cabinet sub-committee to deal with Clause 6.

Read more |Fine line between ‘Indian citizen’ and ‘Assamese’

Shiv Sena opposes Bill

Shiv Sena is among the opposition standing against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016. The regional party of Assam, Assam Gana Parishad appealed to Shiv Sena to oppose the Bill, the Shiv Sena issued a statement.

Further, it said that the Bill will frustrate the Assam Accord and the "entire process of preparation of NCR beig monitored by the Supreme Court will be meaningless".

Opposition to Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which examined the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, placed their 440-page report in Lok Sabha on Monday. The report appreciated the government decision to give Indian nationality to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan on the ground that they were being persecuted in those countries.

As many as six members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which examined the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, gave their dissent notes on report of the panel.  Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartruhari Mahtab stated that the Bill contravened provisions of the principal Act and ran counter to the spirit of the 1985 Assam Accord.

What is Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016?

The Union Cabinet cleared the redrafted Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Monday which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 19, 2016 to amend the Act.

The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 and makes illegal migrants eligible for citizenship on the basis of religion. Further, the Bill seeks to cancel the registration of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders if they violate any law.

The Act of 1955 regulates who may acquire Indian citizenship and on what grounds. Illegal migrants are prohibited from acquiring Indian citizenship under the Act. An illegal migrant by the definition of the Act is a foreigner who enters the country without valid travel documents, like a passport and visa, or enters with valid documents, but stays beyond the permitted time period.

Composition of committee looking into Clause 6 of 1985 Assam Accord

The Ministry of Home Affairs last week notified the high-level committee that is expected to look into the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985. The committee is headed by a retired IAS officer MP Bezbarauah and includes eminent Assamese personalities from various fields. The panel will submit its report within six months. There are a total of nine members in the committee including Bezbaruah.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said Clause 6 "wasn't fully implemented" and the notification came days after the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to set up a high-level committee.

The committee will receive support from North East division of the Home Ministry and the Assam government, the home ministry said. Further, the committee is expected to look at reservation of Assamese people in Legislative Assembly of Assam and other local bodies. It would also look into the need for reservation in government jobs for people of the state and recommend on various measures needed for preserving the culture and idenity of the people.

Read more |Centre notifies 9 member panel

What is Clause 6 of 1985 Assam Accord?

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is working towards the implementation of Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord. Clause 6 of the Accord reads, “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.”

The Ministry of Home Affairs last week notified the high-level committee that is expected to look into the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985.  There are a total of nine members in the committee.

AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya told the Indian Express that it was “meaningless” to send a representative to the panel because the BJP government "is violating Clause 5 of Assam Accord” by bringing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Read more |AASU to stay off Centre-appointed panel, protests continue in Assam

Welcome to our Live blog! For all the latest updates on the Assam bandh, follow this blog. 

NESO — the umbrella student body representing all the states — has also called for the bandh across seven northeastern states. (PTI photo)

The North East Students’ Union (NESO) — the umbrella student body representing all the states — has also called for the bandh across seven northeastern states, which is being supported by the AGP, the Congress and 30 other ethnic organisations from Assam. The decision to call for a bandh was taken immediately after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally at Silchar on January 4, where he stated that the Bill will be passed by Parliament soon.

“This is the first time in ten years that the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) is calling for a bandh,” said AASU General Secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi. This is the first time since independence that the entire Northeast region will observe a unified bandh, said Gogoi.