ITANAGAR, Jan 11: All the constituents of the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) will observe ‘black day’ on 12 January to protest the citizenship amendment bill (CAB) and the police firing on peaceful protestors in Tripura on 8 January.
Informing about this, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) said it will hoist a black flag at its office at the NEFA Club building here at 10 am, and appealed to all like-minded CBOs, individuals, etc, to join the protest.
The AAPSU said five students were injured in police firing during the protest against the CAB on 8 January in Khumulwng, Tripura. It also informed that the Tripura government did not allow a NESO delegation to meet the injured students in Khumulwng.
The AAPSU said a delegation of the NESO had gone to meet the injured students on Friday but the Tripura government stopped them at Agartala and did not allow them to proceed to Khumulwng.
NESO team visits injured in Tripura
A team of the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) on Friday visited members of Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF) who received bullet injuries during a clash with police during a citizenship amendment bill protest on Tuesday.
The team, led by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) advisor Samujjwal Bhattacharyya, condemned the police firing incident.
In Tripura, TSF is a constituent of the NESO.
At least seven persons were injured on Tuesday at Madhabbari in West Tripura district when police and paramilitary jawans resorted to lathi-charge and fired in the air to disperse citizenship bill protesters.
In a press conference, Bhattacharya alleged that an emergency-like situation is prevailing in the state.
The NESO had called a Northeast bandh on Tuesday to protest the introduction of the citizenship amendment bill, which was later passed in the Lok Sabha.
The TSF had set up a blockade on National Highway 8 at Madhbabari as part of the strike. Of the injured, six were TSF activists while one was a Tripura State Rifles official.
While five of the TSF activists were being treated in GB Pant Hospital, another injured was at Khumulwung hospital near Madhabbari.
Bhattacharyya alleged that after visiting the injured at GB Pant Hospital they proceeded towards Khumulwung hospital to see the other injured, but police stopped them.
“When we were going to the hospital, they stopped us. It is uncalled for and not acceptable to us. An emergency-like situation is going on in Tripura. We express our solidarity to TSF and we would come back to Tripura again,” Bhattacharyya said.
He said that the citizenship amendment bill is communal and the student body would continue to agitate on the issue.
“We met home minister, joint parliamentary committee (JPC) and requested them to visit NE India before placing their recommendations on citizenship bill. None from JPC visited any NE state and submitted the report. It is a half-report and we have rejected it. Northeast India is not dumping ground for illegal immigrants from Bangladesh,” Bhattacharyya said.
The NESO chief advisor arrived in Agartala on Thursday evening. He further alleged that an ambulance carrying the wounded protesters was stopped by Tripura State Rifles (TSR) jawans, who damaged the vehicle and beat up the injured.
He appealed to the indigenous political parties of the region to clarify their stand on the subject.
NESO chairman Samuel Jyrwa, representatives of the Khasi Students’ Union, Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF) general secretary Sunil Debbarma and others were also present at the press conference.
Strip protests continue over citizenship bill
Meanwhile, strip protests continued over the controversial citizenship amendment bill (CAB) on Friday as one man removed his clothes in front of the deputy commissioner’s office at Jorhat to express his disapproval of slapping of sedition charges on litterateur Hiren Gohain.
The CAB, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on 8 January, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.
The man, identified as Mantu Dutta, came before the deputy commissioner’s office, shouted “Joi Aai Asom” (glory to mother Assam) and stripped, alleging that the government is playing “dirty politics by slapping sedition charges on Hiren Gohain. He should not be arrested.”
Sahitya Akademi awardee and former Guwahati University professor Hiren Gohain was booked under sedition laws suo motu by the police on Thursday for his alleged remarks on the citizenship bill. The Gauhati High Court on Friday granted interim bail to him.
Assamese students in Delhi have also demonstrated in Delhi against the bill, while a candlelight vigil was taken out on Thursday evening at the Shivaji Park in Mumbai, reports reaching in Guwahati said. (PTI)