Citizenship Amendment Act protests resume in North East after two-year lull

The protest was organised by the Northeast Students’ Organisation (NESO) that comprises eight student bodies from the region.

Citizenship Amendment Act protests resume in North East after two-year lull
Police personnel stand guard as North-East Students Organisation (NESO) leaders and activists stage a protest demanding scrapping of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), in Guwahati, Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

Several students’ organisations in the northeast on Wednesday renewed their protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), nearly two years after the region saw violent demonstrations due to the legislation, Hindustan Times reported.

The CAA seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan who had entered India prior to December 31, 2014. While the Centre is yet to frame rules for the Act amid protests from different quarters, including the northeastern states, Shah has consistently maintained the CAA will be rolled out.

The protest was organised by the Northeast Students’ Organisation (NESO) that comprises eight student bodies from the region – the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Garo Students’ Union (GSU), All Manipur Students Union (AMSU), All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Tripura Students’ Federation (TSF) and Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Northeast Now reported.

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Protests were carried out in all the state capitals of the Northeast – Guwahati in Assam, Shillong in Meghalaya, Imphal in Manipur, Agartala in Tripura, Aizawl in Mizoram, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Kohima in Nagaland.

Speaking about the protests, Samuel Jyrwa, president of NESO said, “We have been firm in our stand that the CAA is against the interests of Assam and other states in the region. But despite our earlier protests, the Centre went ahead and enacted the legislation.”

In Guwahati, police had barricaded the AASU office to stop protestors from staging the march, as NESO members displayed placards protesting against CAA from inside their offices, a media report said.

The demonstrations come in the backdrop of the Union Home minister Amit Shah’s remarks earlier this month, during an interaction with a BJP delegation from West Bengal, where he said that the Centre will implement the CAA once the vaccination drive to counter Covid-19 concludes in the country.

Also Read: CAA to be implemented once Covid vaccination drive concludes: Amit Shah

Samujjal Bhattacharjya, an adviser to the umbrella body of student organisations of the region, said the NESO organised peaceful protests at all its state headquarters of the region.

The 2019 violent protests in Assam against CAA had taken the lives of five people.

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