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Protests erupt in northeast as region braces for bandh after Shah tables CAB in Parliament

The 48-hour Assam bandh called by the All Moran Students' Union (AMSU) to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and seek Scheduled Tribe status for six communities affected normal life in several parts of the state on Monday.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 11, 2019, 07.51 AM IST
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PTI
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GUWHATI: Violence was reported from Tripura and parts of Assam even as a bandh called by North East Students’ Organisation and supported by 16 other organisations to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill was total in Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. Assam’s Bengali-dominated Barak Valley largely remained unaffected, while in Guwahati several vehicles were damaged and stones pelted on security forces. Nagaland was exempted from the bandh due to the Hornbill festival.

Internet services were suspended for 48 hours in Tripura following reportedly fake news of clashes between tribals and non-tribals. The government in a statement said that the director general of police had said rumours were spread “about ethnic clashes between tribal and non-tribal in Manu and Kanchanpur areas. This created violent situation in the area. It has been noticed that SMS, WhatsApp and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are being used for transmission of fake images and videos as well as text messages which have potential to incite violence in the state at a larger rate.” At least seven persons, including a policeman, were injured in attacks by protestersin various markets of North Tripura and Dhalai districts. Tension prevailed in Manu, Dhoomacherra, Chhailengta and other nearby areas of Dhalai district. Several shops were damaged. According to the statement issued by North East Frontier Railway, trains have been cancelled as protestors have blocked rail tracks. Tuesday was the second day of agitation in Tripura following the indefinite strike in protest against CAB called by the Joint Movement Against Citizenship Amendment Bill, a conglomeration of all tribebased regional parties, NGOs and student organisations.

Amid the bandh in Manipur, BJP workers celebrated home minister Amit Shah’s announcement that the Inner Line Permit would be enforced in Manipur, a move that CAB would not cover the state. The state government had declared Tuesday as a holiday to celebrate Shah’s declaration. However, owing to the bandh, business establishments in Imphal remained shut. Chief minister N Biren Singh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah and former home minister Rajnath Singh for keeping their promise on ILP.

Police baton-charged and used teargas shells in some places in Guwahati to control protests. Hundreds of tyres were burnt on highways and roads to obstruct vehicular movement.

Several artistes declared that they will not participate in government events. They declared that they will not participate in the December 15 summit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart ShinzoAbe in Guwahati.

Government is planning to hold cultural events during the visit.


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