At least four protestors were hurt Friday after police used tear gas shells to neutralise a student protest rally against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, in Imphal city. Denouncing the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, a group of student activists had organised a protest rally.
The rally was organised by Joint students’ body comprising of All Manipur Students Union (AMSU), Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), Manipur Students Federation (MSF), Kangleipak Students Federation (KSF), Students Union Kangleipak (SUK) and Apunba Irreipakki Maheiroising Singpanglup (AIMS).
The protestors bearing placards and chanting slogans opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill marched through Imphal Khwairamband woman market and were joined by a large number of women from the market. Police had to resort to the firing tear gas shells to disperse the protestors. It has been reported that four protestors including two students and women sustained injuries in the police action.
As a result of the clash, all shops in the Imphal market were forced to shut down for hours fearing an escalation of tension. Akash Salam, president of DESAM, said that the joint student’s body will continue with their agitation until the Citizenship Amendment Bill is scrapped. The Bill passed by the BJP led NDA government is nothing but a part of their vote bank politics and to wipe out the indigenous population of the Northeastern states, he alleged.
“We will oppose the Bill tooth and nail until it is repealed”, Salam said, appealing to the people to join the fight to secure the future of the indigenous people of the region.
Similar protests opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill was also staged by the Communist Party India (CPI) Manipur, Manipur Muslim Welfare Organisation. Both the protest, however, ended peacefully.