'Citizenship Amendment Bill' passage marked by violent bandh in Assam

Activists of the Assam Pradesh Congress committee shout slogans during a rally in protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 which will provide citizenship or stay rights to minorities from Bangladesh Pakistan and Afghanistan in India in Guwahati

Activists of the Assam Pradesh Congress committee shout slogans during a rally in protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 which will provide citizenship or stay rights to minorities from Bangladesh Pakistan and Afghanistan in India in Guwahati

The BJP-led government in Assam should face fresh elections, senior AGP leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said Tuesday, a day after the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) pulled the plug on the saffron party over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

In the 126-member Assam Assembly, the AGP has just 14 MLAs, while the ruling coalition, which now comprises the BJP with 60 MLAs and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) with 12 MLAs, has a comfortable majority. In the panchayat elections held in the state in December, the BJP had emerged as the single largest party.

The severance of alliance with the BJP, however, would not make the government fall in Assam.

Mukesh Agarwal, Assam police spokesperson, said more than 700 demonstrators were arrested.

When asked whether the government will drop BJP from the MDA alliance, Conrad said "We will have a party meeting and decide which way to go".

The AGP had entered into an alliance with the BJP before the 2014 polls and was opposed to the Bill since the beginning.

All Mizoram NGOs, including the influential Young Mizo Association, and political parties like People's Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) have been strongly opposing the Bill, claiming it would change the demography of several northeastern states.

The AGP has been opposing the Citizenship Bill, saying if it is passed, the NRC exercise in the state would be of no use.

NASA's planet-hunter TESS makes first discoveries
How a small inner planet stays on that path as a bigger planet lurches on an elliptical orbit around the same star is a mystery. TESS is in the process of scanning the entire southern sky, after which it will turn and canvass the northern sky.

Reacting to the Asom Gana Parishad's departure from the alliance, BJP spokeperson Rupam Goswami said while its "doors are always open", it can not force anyone to stay in an alliance with it. "AGP had shown signs of friendship with the Congress in the panchayat elections itself, so it is not surprising", he said.

"The Citizenship Bill is an atonement of the wrong that was done during India's partition".

Earlier, the Meghalaya government had reaffirmed its stand to oppose the bill which seeks to remove hurdles in eligible migrants from six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan getting Indian citizenship. "After this, there is no question of remaining in the alliance", Bora said in New Delhi.

With the Winter Session of the Lok Sabha set to end on Tuesday, it is uncertain whether the bill would be taken up for consideration in the lower house in this session.

Assam Police personnel remove black flags from Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) activists protesting with 69 other indigenous organisations of Assam during a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016. Assam's people will never allow this bill to be implemented.

On the other hand, a group of activists under the banner of Confederation of HynAiewtrep Social Organisation staged a protest in front of the BJP's office demanding that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill not be passed. Attendance in government offices was thin as the employees had difficulty in reaching their workplace in the absence of adequate public transport, the sources said.

In Assam the bandh called by All Assam Students Union (AASU), which crippled the normal life in Brahmaputra Valley, turned violent in different parts of the state where incidents of stone pelting, tyre burning, and occasional lathi charges were reported from various places. There were also reports of some vehicles being vandalized.

Same was the scene in most of the capital cities of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya where the bandh had substantial impact. These states feel that the Bill needs to be opposed in "a bid to save their indigenous communities from extinction".

Recommended News

  • UK's Heathrow Airport suspends flights after drone sighting

    UK's Heathrow Airport suspends flights after drone sighting

    The west London hub apologised for any disruption caused to passengers after flights were suspended for around an hour on Tuesday. Police were called just after 5pm to "reports of a sighting of a drone in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport ".
    Top 4 unchanged, rest of AP Top 25 poll a jumble

    Top 4 unchanged, rest of AP Top 25 poll a jumble

    After two conference victories over Penn State and Indiana, Michigan stayed at No. 2 in the latest Associated Press poll. The Spartans (13-2) took down Northwestern 8-55 on Wednesday and No. 14 Ohio State, in Columbus, 86-77 on Saturday.
    French director controversy over 'women aged 50' quip

    French director controversy over 'women aged 50' quip

    Yann Moix, 50, offended many of his female compatriots when he ruled out falling in love with a woman of his own age. French journalist Colombe Schneck, 52, posted a photo of her naked backside on Instagram .
  • Flu activity begins to spike across country

    Flu activity begins to spike across country

    Those in at-risk groups include people aged 65 and old, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases. It was the deadliest in 40 years when less than half of Americans got vaccinated. "It's not too late".
    Woman dies after being found inside Toronto clothing donation bin

    Woman dies after being found inside Toronto clothing donation bin

    The emergency services then made efforts to resuscitate the woman but were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at the scene. A recent death in West Vancouver reportedly prompted charities to pull their donation bins from streets across the city.
    Samuel L. Jackson endorses calling Trump a 'motherf--ker'

    Samuel L. Jackson endorses calling Trump a 'motherf--ker'

    It should surprise no one, then, that he has weighed in on its controversial use by Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib . Tlaib was sworn in on Thursday alongside the most diverse freshman class of new legislators in the history of the U.S.
  • De Blasio announces health care coverage for all New Yorkers

    De Blasio announces health care coverage for all New Yorkers

    It will also guarantee health care access to those ineligible for insurance, including illegal immigrants who live in NY . De Blasio says that when people know their health care is guaranteed it will change their behavior.
    Days of Fortnite will return soon, but only for about a week

    Days of Fortnite will return soon, but only for about a week

    The only catch is that you'll have to start over if you had any partially completed, because progress hasn't been saved. After further discussion, we've chose to bring back this event early next week through January 15 at 3 AM ET (0800 UTC).
    China offered to bail out 1MDB for deals

    China offered to bail out 1MDB for deals

    It further offered to bug the offices and homes of Journal reporters reporting on the fund and leak information, according to the newspaper.
  • Parent company of Sears, Kmart prepares for possible liquidation

    Parent company of Sears, Kmart prepares for possible liquidation

    The creditors' attorneys question whether the terms of those loans unduly benefited Lampert and his hedge fund rather than Sears. That bid had included $1.3bn (£1bn) in financing from three institutions, ESL said in a statement.
    Bucs set to begin contract negotiations with Bruce Arians

    Bucs set to begin contract negotiations with Bruce Arians

    Arians, who spent the 2018 season as an in-game analyst for CBS Sports, ended his coaching career following the 2017 season. Arians' interview with Tampa Bay included a trip to the hospital for a physical.
    Transfer: Chelsea move for Real Madrid striker as Morata’s replacement

    Transfer: Chelsea move for Real Madrid striker as Morata’s replacement

    Morata is also understood to be unhappy with the public criticism he received from Gianfranco Zola last week. Chelsea are interested in signing a replacement with Gonzalo Higuain and Edinson Cavani linked.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.