GUWAHATI: While protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill continued across Assam and the entire Northeast, Manipur, after a long fight, has managed to secure the inner line permit (ILP).
Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced on Monday that the state would be exempted from the ambit of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 as it would be brought under the ILP system. The development made Manipur’s BJP-led government declare a public holiday on December 10 to celebrate the occasion. It declared holiday for all government offices, educational institutes, public sector undertakings, corporations and autonomous bodies under the Government of Manipur on the “historic occasion”.
The Manipur People’s Against Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was spearheading the anti-CAB protests in Imphal Valley, also temporarily withdrew its “total shutdown” call. The ILP is a travel document which every Indian is required to carry while travelling to three currently “protected” states of Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
Various groups and organisations in Manipur had for long been demanding ILP to check the influx of migrants and save the culture, tradition, identity and demographic structure of the indigenous people.
Meanwhile, Assam remained on the boil as the CAB was introduced for debate and passage in the Lok Sabha. Protesters held rallies and marches, tonsured their heads, attacked vehicles and blocked the movement of trains across the state.
College students bunked their classes to stage protests during the bandhs called by three organizations in Upper and Lower Assam. They said the state was faced with a grave situation and equated the “attack by the BJP” vis-à-vis CAB with the Mughal invasion of Assam.After Union Minister Rameswar Teli, BJP MLA Atul Bora had to face the ire of the protestors on Monday when they intercepted his car in Guwahati and grilled him for his silence on CAB.
Popular Assamese actor Ravi Sarma quit the BJP barely four months after joining it in August. Another well-known actor, Jatin Bora, too, hinted at quitting the party. Both said they had climbed the ladders of success due to the love of people and they could not let them down. Breaking his silence, Asom Gana Parishad’s Rajya Sabha Birendra Prasad Baishya said he felt the Bill was a threat to Assam’s land, language and culture. People, including octogenarians and nonagenarians, came out voluntarily in several parts of the state and staged protests.