Tyres being burnt on the Lahowal-Dibrugarh Road. Northeast Now

The Dibrugarh district unit of Jatiyo Jangosthiyo Aikyo Manch, an umbrella organisation of several groups on Tuesday launched a hundred-hour economic blockade started at 5 am here against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

The agitating members of the Manch on Tuesday burnt tyres and blocked the Lahowal-Dibrugarh road for hours disrupting traffic. The economic blockade will affect everyday plying of Oil India tankers and Coal India trucks. Several trucks were stopped on the Dibrugarh-Lahowal Road by the members of the Manch.

“Earlier, we blocked trains in Chabua drawing the Centre’s attention but they didn’t give any attention to our demand to scrap the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. So, we have decided to launch an economic blockade in Dibrugarh because most of the coal-laden trucks and oil tankers ply from Dibrugarh,” said said Deep Dowerah, a member of the Manch.

He added, “We are against this Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 because it will jeopardise the future of the indigenous people.”

Dowerah said they won’t allow the centre to turn Assam into a dumping ground.

“Movements of vehicle to oil installations and drilling sites have been completely blocked, affecting transportation of oil, coal and finished tea. If the Centre does not pay heed to our demand, the situation will worsen,” another member of the Manch warned.

According to the Manch, the Central government is desperate to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 which will provide citizenship to illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and who came to India till December 31, 2014 and who would be eligible for Indian citizenship.

“We strongly oppose the Bill because it is against Assam and its people. We have launched hundred hours of economic blockade in Dibrugarh to press the Centre to scrap the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016,” another member of the Manch said.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com

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