Agartala/Aizawl: Normal life was badly affected across the northeast on Tuesday due to the shutdown and agitations organised by various tribal parties and youth organisations including the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB).
The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha after division of votes with 311 in its favour and 80 against it, following a marathon debate which continued till 12.06 a.m. on Tuesday after beginning at about 4 p.m. the previous day.
In Tripura, road and rail traffic were badly affected and thousands of passengers were stranded as the picketers did not allow the plying of vehicles and trains.
Police spokesman Subrata Chakraborty said that no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of the state’s 10,491 sq km area, and home to over 12 lakh people, mostly tribals.
“Shutdown was observed by the tribal based parties in the TTAADC areas while the picketers held road blockades and demonstrations outside of it. Police either evicted the picketers or detained them for blocking the roads and holding protests in important locations in different parts of Tripura,” Chakraborty told IANS.
An unprecedented contingent of security forces including the central para-military and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) were deployed to deal with the situation.
Senior police officials in Agartala quoting reports from the various districts, said that government offices, banks, educational institutions, shops and markets were closed in most places under the TTAADC areas.
The Education Department, Tripura Board of Secondary Education and the two universities – Tripura University and Maharaja Bir Bikram University – postponed their examinations due to the strike.
The Joint Movement Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (JMACAB), a conglomeration of many tribal local and regional parties, NGOs and student and youth organisations of Tripura, including Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) has called for an indefinite strike across the state against the CAB.
The NESO, an apex body of eight students and youth outfits, has also called for a 10-hour shutdown on Tuesday in the entire region, comprising all the seven states.
In Mizoram, the 10-hour long has shutdown crippled normal life.
Government offices, banks, educational institutions, shops and markets were closed in the Mizo National Front (MNF) ruled the state.
All kinds of vehicles except those of the security forces remained off the roads.
According to the police, the NESO and the NGO Coordination Committee leaders are organising picketing in the district headquarters of Aizawl, Kolasib, Lunglei and Serchhip.
“The shutdown was peaceful in all the 11 districts of Mizoram,” a police official said in Aizawl.
After passing in the Lok Sabha, the Bill would now be moved in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to cross its final hurdle before becoming a law to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.