ITANAGAR, Dec 8: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has announced a 12-hour statewide bandh on 10 December, in support of the North East Students’ Organisation’s (NESO) decision to shut down the entire Northeast region, except Nagaland, to protest against the citizen amendment bill (CAB).
Addressing journalists at the press club here on Sunday, AAPSU vice-president (admin) Meje Taku said “the AAPSU stands with the NESO and the people of the Northeast region in the fight against the CAB.”
The BJP government at the Centre is likely to pass the CAB in Parliament despite stiff opposition from the northeastern states.
“The AAPSU is with the NESO’s decision to shut down the Northeast against the Centre for introducing the CAB in the parliament. Therefore we are shutting down the entire state from 5 am to 4 pm on 10 December,” said Taku.
He said the AAPSU has directed all its federating units and branch unions, including university student unions, “to arrange the requisite manpower to make the Northeast shutdown successful.”
Seeking cooperation from everyone, including the business community, civil society bodies, and the public, Taku said the shutdown is “for the cause of the Northeast’s indigenous people and the greater interest of the region.”
“I appeal to every individual to support the NESO and the AAPSU movement,” he said.
Taku said public service vehicles, such as milk vans, ambulances and press personnel’s vehicles, besides magistrates and the police, are exempted from the purview of the bandh.
Although union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured that the CAB would not be applicable to ILP regime states like Arunachal, Mizoram and Nagaland, “our (AAPSU) stand is very clear that we stand with the NESO and its decision,” Taku said.
AAPSU spokesman Tadar Takiang also urged all stakeholders to cooperate with the bandh call.
Meanwhile, the Rajiv Gandhi University Students’ Union informed that it would support the bandh, and that there would be no official activity in the university on 10 December.
It said the semester examinations which were scheduled to be held on the 10th would be rescheduled by the university authority.
16 orgs call for 12-hour Assam bandh on Tuesday
Sixteen left-leaning organisations have called for a 12-hour Assam bandh on 10 December to protest against the CAB.
The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) has already called for an 11-hour Northeast bandh from 5 am on Tuesday on the same issue.
“The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and its sister organisations have extended their support to the bandh called by these organisations and the North East Students’ body,” KMSS advisor Akhil Gogoi said at a press conference on Sunday.
The KMSS has also extended its support to the 12-hour Assam bandh on Monday called by various tribal student bodies, such as Sootea, Moran and Koch-Rajbongshi, he said.
In a joint statement, 16 left-leaning organisations, including the SFI, the DYFI, the AIDWA, the AISF, the AISA and the IPTA, demanded “scrapping of the bill” and called for “12-hour Assam bandh” from 5 am on Tuesday.
The Assam State Jamiat Ulama also supported the Northeast bandh called by the NESO.
However, Nagaland has been exempted from the purview of the bandh in view of the ongoing Hornbill Festival there.
The Centre is likely to introduce the bill in Parliament on Monday, despite stiff opposition by various organisations in the region.
Cong lambasts Centre over CAB
The Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has lambasted the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for bringing the CAB, saying it has put peace and communal harmony in India under threat.
“It is very unfortunate that the central government is arrogantly imposing the divisive bill by ignoring the democratic and secularist aspects of the constitution,” APCC general secretary Mina Toko stated in a press release.
The party said that the CAB violated the basic structure of the constitution, especially Articles 14 and 15.
“The approval of the communal and unconstitutional bill by the union cabinet will create hostility and conflict by marginalizing the indigenous population of the country,” Toko said.
The party also flayed the Centre for turning a deaf ear to the protests against the CAB.
Assam CM urges youths not to join anti-CAB stir
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday claimed that forces inimical to the state’s interest are trying to create “rifts between different communities” through agitations and the youths should work hard for development instead of joining those movements.
The BJP leaders’ appeal came against the backdrop of intensifying protests across the state against the CAB.
“The young generation of the state must endeavour to put Assam strongly at the world stage with hard work, dedication, honesty and sincerity, and they must not while away the most productive time of their lives in movements and agitations,” Sonowal said at a function in Guwahati. (With PTI inputs)