GUWAHATI: Three activists of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) staged a nude protest outside the secretariat building here, adjacent to the assembly, on Friday against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Security personnel were caught off guard when the protesters got down from a car near the secretariat and stripped, a police officer said.
They raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, he said.
Policemen rushed to cover the protesters with blankets and took them into custody before whisking them away from the high-security area, the officer said.
"The main gate leading to the secretariat has been shut for the time being to prevent protesters from entering the premises and security arrangements have been intensified in the area," he added.
DCP Amanjit Kaur told reporters that all three protesters have been arrested and necessary measures taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
The agitators, before being whisked away, said the nude protest was symbolic as the BJP governments in Delhi and the state were trying to strip Assam's people of their identity, culture and language.
Echoing similar sentiments, a senior KMSS member said, "We hope that the protest shames the government and the bill is immediately revoked.
" Last month too the KMSS had staged similar protests outside Parliament as well as in Jorhat and Tinsukia districts of Assam.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who fled religious persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and entered India before December 31, 2014.
Protests against the bill have rocked the entire northeast over the past five weeks, with several organisations and political parties vehemently opposing it.
The protesters claim that the bill will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for deportation of illegal immigrants, irrespective of religion.