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Ahead of PM's visit, tribals hold protests in Tripura against Citizenship Bill

IANS  |  Agartala 

Ahead Narendra Modi's two-day visit to three northeastern states - Assam, and - several tribal parties and NGOs on Friday held a massive demonstration in demanding the withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

The protesting groups also demanded the withdrawal of sedition charges levelled by the against three tribal leaders.

The several hours long demonstration took place in northern Tripura's Manughat, 100 km north of Agartala, 10 days after a huge protest rally on the same issue in Khumulwng, 20 km north of Agartala, the headquarters of Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).

The agitation was spearheaded by the newly formed (Amendment) Bill (MACAB), a conglomerate of several NGOs and four tribal outfits, including Tripura's oldest tribal party Indigenous (INPT).

The (NESO), which on January 8 called an 11-hour shutdown in the entire northeastern region excluding to oppose the Citizenship Bill, was also part of the agitation.

NESO is an association of eight student and youth organisations from seven northeastern states.

All Committee (AICC) in-charge of and the working of the Tripura Pradesh Committee, Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debburman, and Tripura General and tribal leader also spoke at the demonstrations.

"The sit-in demonstration was peaceful and no untoward incident took place. Vehicular movement was normal in the National Highway (NH 8)," district told IANS over telephone from the district headquarters.

NH 8 is the life line of the mountainous Tripura.

MACAB Convener and INPT General told the media that their agitation would be intensified if the government did not meet their two demands.

INPT told the gathering that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to migrants from six non-Muslim minority groups from Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, when enacted into an Act, would jeopardise the demography of the indigenous people of northeast comprising eight states.

Upendra Debbarma, who is also the of NESO, said that earlier this week a 15-member delegation of NESO met Congress Rahul Gandhi, and (NPP) President Conrad Sangma, Saugata Roy, and leaders of several parties in and and apprised them about the issue.

"All the leaders assured us that they would be with the northeastern parties on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill," Debbarma said.

INPT's said that have registered a case with sedition charges against three senior tribal leaders, including him, for organising a protest rally on January 30 at the in Khumulwng against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

The agitating tribal leaders also indicated that a few tribal organisations might resort to agitation on Saturday during Narendra Modi's visit to the state.

During his visit, Modi would unveil a statue of Tripura's late at the airport, inaugurate an extended railway line and open an academic building of the run by the

Elaborate security arrangements have been for the Prime Minister's visit.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 17:38 IST