Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill intensified in different parts of Assam Wednesday with agitators burning effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and gheraoing the state secretariat here.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) chief Akhil Gogoi announced that Modi and central ministers would not be allowed to enter the state, while the chief minister and BJP MLAs and MPs will not be allowed to hold any meeting or rally in the state.
The agitators belonging to 70 organisations, led by KMSS and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), gathered at the secretariat to protest against the passing of the Bill in the Lower House of Parliament.
The police attempted to prevent the protestors from crossing the barricades to enter the secretariat resulting in a scuffle. As the protestors refused to budge, the police resorted to lathicharge and fired rubber bullets to disperse them.
Several protestors were also taken into custody to prevent law and order situation, police said.
Artists, litterateurs, musicians, actors, journalists and prominent cultural personalities took out a torchlight procession in Guwahati Wednesday evening to protest against the Bill.
The 70 organisations also protested in Digboi where Sonowal attended the Gorkha Mahatsov by blocking the highway and waving black flags to protest against the Bill and the CM's visit.
In Golaghat's Numaligarh area, a semi-nude protest by the Asom Aikya Manch was held.
Students' bodies at Tezpur University, Jorhat Medical College, Pub Guwahati College, JB College, DCB College and others have held protests in their campuses, although no class boycott decision has been taken yet.
In New Delhi, students from Assam studying there protested at Jantar Mantar and were joined by students from other states too.
An 11-hour bandh, called by AASU and the North East Students' Organisation (NESO) and supported by over hundred organisations, against the Bill had brought life to standstill in Assam yesterday.
The Bill passed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.
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