While protests intensified over the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill in the northeast, the legislation remained pending in the Rajya Sabha after the house was adjourned on Tuesday. Agitation including mass sit-in-demonstration, torch rally was organised at Jampuijala in West Tripura, demanding the Centre to scrap the bill.
The agitation was held by Movement Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (MACAB), a conglomerate of tribal political parties including the Congress from North East India. Leaders from Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT) including supremo Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl were seen sitting with posters that read ‘Poila Jati Ulo Party’ (Jati first, party later) and placards carrying pictures of Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma.
WATCH: Protests rock Tripura amid uproar over pending Citizenship bill in Rajya Sabha. pic.twitter.com/ZbsgrGFWIb
“This is a democratic movement to draw the attention of the Centre. I appeal to ministers, MLAs, MPs in our state to share their ideas to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill. If it is passed, there will be a lot of problems. There might be bloodshed, firing and destruction. Our poor people will have to run here and there to seek protection,” the rebel turned politician said.
Hrangkhawl had led Tripura National Volunteers (TNV), an insurgent outfit formed in December 1978 with the aim of forming an independent tribal state. He laid down arms as per the 1988 Rajiv-Hrangkhawl Peace Agreement instrumented by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
In a terse warning against the advocates of Citizenship Amendment Bill, Hrangkhawl today said that if the Bill was passed in the Upper House, he would be forced to launch a movement which might spiral out of control.
“This Bill should not be discussed on the floor of the House of the Parliament. Or else, we will be forced to launch movement after movement which might be beyond our control,” he said.
During the torch rally in Jampuijala, no untoward incident was reported in the state, an official at the Tripura Police headquarters informed this evening. Royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma, who addressed two previous rallies on the same issue at Khumulwng and Khowai, was not available for his comments. Sources close to Ujjayanta Palace extension, where Pradyot lives, said he was in New Delhi.