Citizenship Bill biggest betrayal: former Meghalaya CM


However, in Tripura where the saffron brigade had wrested power just past year, it had no impact as well as the Barak Valley of Assam which has been supporting the contentious citizenship bill since its inception.

Previous year the Assam government published a draft citizens' register that left off 4mn people unable to prove they were living there before 1971.

Meanwhile, protestors ransacked BJP offices in Golaghat in Assam and burnt tyres across the state.

Responding to the NESO strike, Manjit Sarangthem, President of the All Manipur Students Union (AMSU), said "The opening of the floodgate to the minorities in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will result in swamping the indigenous people in the northeastern region".

The AGP's decision was announced by its president and state agriculture minister Atul Bora after his meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.

"As the chief minister, it was his primary duty to ensure that people were not burdened with the bill".

The draft National Register of Citizens (NCR) of the state had been prepared in accordance with the Accord. As the government did not heed to the demand, the Congress staged a walkout. It has faced allround resistance in Assam, including from NDA ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which quit the BJP-led Assam government.

Originally introduced in 2016, the bill was sent to the JPC, which submitted its report on Monday.

Had the AGP not partnered with the BJP, the saffron party would have not bagged so many seats in the Assembly election and formed a government in the state, he added.

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"We have extended support to the ongoing bandh today, so made a decision to postpone the formalities to resign for tomorrow", Bora said. "The AGP protested against the bill ever since it was proposed", the AGP founder said.

Describing the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha as "unfortunate", Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma yesterday said he will discuss with his National People's Party (NPP) leaders to take a call on whether to snap ties with the BJP.

"We have identified the stone pelters by seeing video footage and they will be booked soon", Assam police official Surjeet Singh Panesar said.

The Congress, TMC, CPI-M and a few other parties are opposing the bill claiming that citizenship can't be given on the basis of religion.

The objective of NRC is to identify those people who immigrated, illegally, from Bangladesh to Assam after 24 March 1971. The statement came hours after Lok Sabha passed the bill, which many believe is against the "fundamental aspects of the Indian constitution".

The bill has created an emotional upraise among the indigenous people of the state who accused the BJP of betraying them.

NESO advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said that the Centre and the BJP had forced them to call the bandh.

A number of civil society groups in the Northeast are opposed to the bill - that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan - saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.

Opposition parties have also shouted slogans inside and outside the parliament against the bill which they termed "unconstitutional and going against the secular principles of India".