Protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill continues in Manipur
Opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8 and is pending before the Rajya Sabha, continues to rage in Manipur.
On Tuesday, three protests -- one by representatives of nine political parties and two by students of higher secondary schools in association with women vendors rocked Imphal.
The students and the women vendors staged a protest march in the heart of Imphal around noon. However, the police prevented them from marching towards the silent zones at BT road in Imphal, sources said. Later another police team also prevented a similar rally in front of animal husbandry department office at around 2pm. Police also fired tear gas shells to control agitators.
Nine political parties including state units of CPI, RSP, CPI(M),NCP, Forward Block, AAP, BSP, JD(S)and PRJA (Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance),a regional party organised, a convention in the state capital against Citizenship Bill and demanded its withdrawal and summoning of the Manipur assembly to discuss the issue. Later, they took out a protest rally to the Kangla fort.
“We’ve a convention of nine political parties to demand withdrawal of the bill and summoning of assembly so that the elected members have to discuss on this issue,” said Dr M Nara, CPI leader.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which was passed in Lok Sabha would pave way for citizenship to migrants from six religious communities including Parsis, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs and Hindus who move to India to escape religious persecution in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
On January 10, Manipur’s coalition government, led by chief minister N Biren Singh, held a cabinet meeting and decided to ask the Centre to exclude the state from the jurisdiction of the Citizenship Bill altogether and to give its consent to the Manipur People Bill 2018, which has been passed by the state assembly and seeks to regulate the entry and exit of non-Manipuris to and from the state. Manipur's population is only about 0.2% of the whole country’s.
Almost the entire northeast has opposed the Bill. The BJP’s push to turn the Bill into law has already cost it one alliance after the AGP walked out of the Assam government. Last week, the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance cabinet, which has two BJP ministers, passed a resolution opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.