The controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Since then, the northeast has seen curfews being imposed to control violent protests across the seven sisters. Protesters have made their stance clear with “
CAB Amaak Nalage... Nalage... Nalage” (We don’t want the Citizenship Amendment Bill) slogan in Assam. Three persons reportedly died in police firing in Guwahati on Thursday, and scores injured as police resorted to baton charge and fired tear gas shells to disperse protesters. Here is a roundup of what’s transpired today. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calls CAB discriminatory
Jeremy Laurence, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has called CAB discriminatory.
His statement reads, “We are concerned that India's new Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 is fundamentally discriminatory in nature. The amended legislation seeks to expedite citizenship for religious minorities – naming specifically only Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - fleeing persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who have been resident before 2014. But it does not extend the same protection to Muslims, including minority sects.”
Japanese PM cancels India visit
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India for an annual summit with his counterpart Narendra Modi in Guwahati was on Friday cancelled in the wake of violent protests over the amended citizenship law in India's northeast.
Both sides have decided to "defer" Abe's visit for the December 15-17 summit to a mutually convenient date, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
"With reference to the proposed visit of Japanese PM Abe to India, both sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future," the MEA spokesperson said.
The cancellation of the Japanese prime minister's trip comes a day after Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan called off their visits to India following the enactment of the controversial law.
8 columns of the Army, AR deployed in Assam
A total of eight columns of the Army and Assam Rifles have been deployed in Assam, including capital Guwahati to control the ongoing violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the amended Citizenship Act.
Defence Public Relation Officer Lt Col P Khongsai said the Army and Assam Rifles were requisitioned by the civil administration in Morigaon, Sonitpur and Dibrugarh districts besides Guwahati to arrest the deteriorating law and order situation.
The Army was called out on Wednesday as the protestors turned violent over the Bill. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bill on Friday which made it an act.
Each column of the force comprises of around 70 personnel.
AASU challenges CAB in Supreme Court The All Assam Students Union (AASU) has filed a petition in Supreme Court challenging the amended Citizenship Act on Friday, its chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said.
Bhattacharya, who was addressing a meeting here amidst the indefinite curfew, hit out at the BJP top leadership for "betraying" the people of Assam.
He also criticised President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent to the Citizenship Amendment Bill on Thursday night.
"This is very unfortunate," Bhattacharya said."I am happy to tell you that we have today filed a petition against the amended Citizenship Act. Now our legal battle will start. Simultaneously, our peaceful democratic protest will continue till the Act is repealed," he said.
He said the people of Assam does not trust Prime Minister Narendra Modi anymore as he had betrayed them by welcoming illegal Bangladeshis.
"Modi had promised to deport all illegal immigrants after May 16, 2014 (when the result of election for the Lok Sabha was announced). He did not send back a single illegal Bangladeshi, instead, he is now welcoming them," Bhattacharya, who also the adviser to North East Students Organisation, said. Students boycott exams, hit streets in Arunachal to protest
The students' unions in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday called for boycotting their examination to hit the streets across cities, seeking immediate revocation of the law.
Thousands of agitators, led by Rajiv Gandhi University Students' Union (RGUSU) and Students' Union of NERIST (SUN), marched from the varsity to Raj Bhavan, covering a distance of around 30 km on the hilly terrain.
Local people, along with those belonging to the Assamese community, also joined the rally here to protest against the controversial law, most of them raising slogans against the BJP-led government at the Centre.
The agitators submitted a memorandum to Governor BD Mishra, stressing that the amended Act would not be implemented in the state.
"We oppose the Citizenship Act and want its immediate revocation. The law will divide the region on religious lines and jeopardise the existence of the indigenous people," one the protesters claimed. Amit Shah's visit to Meghalaya, Arunachal cancelled
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has cancelled his visit to two Northeastern states -- Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh -- scheduled on Sunday and Monday, officials said on Friday.
Shah was supposed to take part in the passing out parade at the North Eastern Police Academy near Shillong on Sunday and a festival in Tawang the next day. Train services affected in Kolkata, West Bengal
Train services were affected in Sealdah division of the Eastern Railway on Friday, as people protesting against the amended Citizenship Act blocked tracks at several places, leaving thousands stranded, officials said.
In the Krishnanagar-Lalgola section, tracks were blocked at Beldanga and Rejinagar stations around 3.20 pm and also near Murshidabad station at 4.30 pm, a spokesman said.
The Beldanga railway station complex in Murshidabad district was also set on fire and RPF personnel deputed there were thrashed, officials said.
In the Baruipur-Diamond Harbour section, railway tracks were obstructed at Basuldanga around 2.55 pm, affecting train movement in the stretch, the official said. People blocked tracks at the Uluberia railway station in Howrah district and vandalised the complex and some trains, injuring a driver, officials said. The platforms of the station were vandalised and an empty rake of the Humsafar Express was also damaged, a railways spokesperson said. Efforts to help stranded passengers in Guwahati
Efforts were being made on Friday to help passengers stranded at the airport, railway station and inter-state bus terminals here, an official said.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded at these places due to the indefinite curfew in the city following violent protests against the amended Citizenship Act.
Buses were being arranged to transport the commuters stranded at the LGBI Airport, railway station and inter-state bus terminals (ISBT) to different parts of the city, a spokesperson of the Kamrup (Metro) district, comprising Guwahati and its adjoining areas, told PTI.
The district administration was also distributing food items and water, besides providing medical assistance to them, he said.
Arrangements were also being made for transporting the stranded train passengers in New Jalpaiguri in north Bengal and Bongaigaon in Assam to travel to their destinations.
Strong action to be taken against those involved in violence: Assam CM
Talking tough, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday warned of taking strong action against those involved in arson and violence, saying vandalism has no place in any democratic process.
Sonowal also asserted that he was committed to protect the rights of the indigenous people of the state and urged parents of students to persuade them not to join any agitation which turns violent.
"We will not tolerate any violence. Strong action will be taken against anyone who is involved in vandalism," he told PTI.
Parl panel postpones Assam visit due to protests
The parliamentary panel on home affairs has postponed its field visit to the state. The visit of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs was slated from Dec 18 to 21, but it has been postponed in view of curfew and law and order situation in parts of the state.
The panel chairman and the members were to visit Shillong in Meghalaya and Assam's Guwahati.
"The Standing Committee is concerned about the developments and has thus postponed the proposed visit from Dec 18 to 21, 2019," Committee Chairman Anand Sharma told PTI.
(With PTI inputs)