Bandh Cannot Be Allowed In Assam, Says Minister - Eastern Mirror
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Bandh cannot be allowed in Assam, says minister

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By Mirror Desk Updated: Oct 23, 2018 12:02 am

Those travelling to Nagaland’s upper districts caught in uncertainty

Eastern Mirror Desk

Dimapur, Oct. 22: Uncertainty continues to surround the 12-hour Assam bandh called by 46 organisations on Oct. 23 even as a top minister in Assam government, Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday that the bandh cannot be allowed.

He cited a Gauhati High Court ruling in 2013, which had banned bandhs in Assam and termed it “unconstitutional and illegal”. The organisations have called the bandh to protest against the Centre’s bid to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in the winter session of Parliament.

Political parties, including the Congress, have extended their support to the bandh, led by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP).

During Assam bandhs, people living in the upper districts of Nagaland including Mokokchung, Tuensang, Wokha and Mon among others, tend to feel the pinch.

For travelling as well as transportation of essential goods, residents of those districts have to pass through Assam.

Sarma, who is Assam’s Finance and Health minister, was unequivocal in his assertion that the bandh would not be allowed. The High Court had ruled in 2013 that calling of bandh was illegal and as such “we have to follow the court’s order and ensure that there is no bandh on Tuesday,” he told reporters in Guwahati.

“All shops and business establishments should remain open while government employees must report for their duties or else it will be treated as a contempt of court,” he said.

Meanwhile, KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi said that this was the first time that they had called a bandh and would not call it off as the very “existence of the Assamese people and their identity is at stake”.

Sarma also said that following an assessment of the prevailing law and order situation in Assam, permission will not be granted for the November 17 convention organised by the Citizen Right Protection Forum, Assam (CRPFA), a conglomeration of 26 Bengali organisations, in support of the Citizenship Bill.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced in the Lok Sabha 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.

(With inputs from PTI)

6127
By Mirror Desk Updated: Oct 23, 2018 12:02:07 am
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