The total shutdown call by civil societies in protest against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) threw normal life out of gear in Manipur and Nagaland. As the CAB is likely to be tabled in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, people fear it would affect the demographic balance in the two states.
In Manipur, the statewide shutdown, called jointly by the Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC) and the North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP), ended on Tuesday at 6 pm.
In Nagaland, the bandh call was given by the North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) and the Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI). It began at 6 pm Tuesday and will end at 12 noon on Wednesday.
In both the states, several groups and political parties expressed support to the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
On Monday, Manipur state chief secretary had instructed all government employees and education institutions to carry out normal duties or face action. However, attendance in offices were thin. All institutions and business establishments remained closed in response to the shutdown call, according to reports.
During the strike call, police arrested MANPAC convenor Yumnamcha Dilipkumar along with three other associates from Manipur’s Imphal West district and three women leaders of Khwairamban Keithel.
Civil societies in Northeast states have been protesting against the proposed CAB, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of living in India.