Imphal: Massive protests were witnessed in Manipur as civil and student bodies came together to raise their voice against BJP government’s plan to implement Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
Citizens moved to the streets holding placards which read, ”Withdraw CAB Unconditionally” and chanted “No CAB in Northeast”.
As many as 5,000 people belonging to different sections of society, are believed to have taken part in Thursday’s anti-citizenship bill protests, led by the Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC).
Hundreds of school and college students also took to the streets, forming human chains in front of their schools and colleges chanting slogans. According to Indian Express, a representative of a student body warned of intense agitations if the contentious bill is legislated against the aspirations of the Northeast people, especially in Manipur.
A delegation of the protesting bodies submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister N Biren Singh through his secretary and urged him to take up the issue with Central government. Not just in Manipur, similar protests were witnessed in Nagaland capital Kohima, Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar as well.
In January this year, the BJP-led central government had tried to get the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 passed by Parliament. The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill, but it failed to get the Rajya Sabha’s approval.
The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian nationality to people belonging to minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12, even if they don’t possess any proper document.