Strip protests continue over citizenship bill

Jorhat/Guwahati, Jan 11 (PTI) Strip protests continued over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill 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 Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, 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.
Warning the BJP-led government in the state of massive agitations if the Bill is passed also in Rajya Sabha, Dutta shouted, “Time and again we have been saying the government should not play with the emotions of the people”.
“We have been protesting peacefully till now. The BJP leaders should stop acting like brokers and take immediate steps for stopping passage of the Bill”, said Dutta as he was taken away from the place by the police.
Earlier, a group of men from Assam had stripped in front of the Parliament building claiming the Bill had made the people of Assam naked by threatening their identity, culture, language, state and heritage.
One person also removed his clothes in Tinsukia on the same day over the issue.
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.