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Citizenship Act protests: Students boycott exams, hit streets in Arunachal

Thousands of agitators, led by Rajiv Gandhi University Students' Union (RGUSU) and Students' Union of NERIST (SUN), marched from the varsity to Raj Bhavan.

Published: 13th December 2019 06:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th December 2019 06:29 PM   |  A+A-

Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) members participate in a torchlight rally to protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill in Guwahati Thursday Dec. 5 2019. (Photo | PTI)

File Image. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

ITANAGAR: Protests against the amended Citizenship Act continued to rage across Northeast, with students' unions in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday boycotting their examination to hit the streets across cities, seeking immediate revocation of the law.

Thousands of agitators, led by Rajiv Gandhi University Students' Union (RGUSU) and Students' Union of NERIST (SUN), marched from the varsity to Raj Bhavan, covering a distance of around 30 km on the hilly terrain.

Local people, along with those belonging to the Assamese community, also joined the rally here to protest against the controversial law, most of them raising slogans against the BJP-led government at the Centre.

The agitators submitted a memorandum to Governor B D Mishra, stressing that the amended Act would not be implemented in the state.

"We oppose the Citizenship Act and want its immediate revocation. The law will divide the region on religious lines and jeopardise the existence of the indigenous people," one the protesters claimed.

According to the amended Act, non-Muslim refugees, who escaped religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014, will be granted Indian citizenship.

It, however, exempted tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and areas covered under The Inner Line (ILP) regime, notified under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.

Currently, the ILP regime is applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.

The protesters, however, claimed that Assam was the gateway of the northeast, and the region would suffer if the state gets affected.

Meanwhile, petrol and diesel crisis hit Arunachal Pradesh on Friday, especially in the state capital, as people queued up at fuel outlets, fearing that supply might get hit amid protests across the region.

The administration was trying its best to provide petrol and diesel to the commuters at a prescribed limit per individual, a government official said.

"All petrol depots in the state capital will be opened to the public for a few hours in the evening. The long queues at the fuel outlets have led to traffic snarls in the state capital," the official added.

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