Public protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8 and pending before the Rajya Sabha, continues in Manipur.
Nine political parties including state units of Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Communist Party of India(M), Nationalist Congress Party, Forward Block, Aaam Aadmi Party, Bharatiya Samata Party, Janata Dal(S)and Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance, a regional party organised a convention against CAB at GM Hall in Imphal on Tuesday.
The convention which was attended by Dr M Nara, L Sotinkumar of CPI, Ksh Santa and Sarat Salam of CPI(M), S Iboyaima of NCP, TH Manihar of AAP, L Erendro of PRJA, K Manoranjan of RSP, Oinam Manihar of JD(S) and Kh Apanthou of Forward Block decided to demand withdrawal of the CAB and summoning of the Manipur assembly to discuss the issue. Later a protest rally was also staged from GM hall to western gate of historic Kangla Fort.
Earlier, in the day holding festoons against CAB, the students of higher secondary school in association with women vendors staged a protest march in the heart of Imphal town. However, the police prevented them from marching towards the silent zones at BT road in Imphal, sources said.
Later another police team also prevented a similar rally near Sanjenthong bridge around 2pm. Some agitators were reportedly injured when police fired tear gas shells in the day’s incident.
However another group of women vendors and high secondary students in their respective school uniforms continued to stage demonstration by blocking main routes of Khwairamband Keithel, the main market area of Imphal town.
It may be worth mentioning here that civil society organisations spearheaded by All Manipur United Clubs organisations had already staged a protest rally against CAB in Imphal on January 12.
Last week, a state cabinet meeting in Imphal and decided to ask the Centre to exclude the state from the jurisdiction of the Citizenship Bill altogether and to give its consent to the Manipur People Bill 2018, which was passed to regulate the entry and exit of non-Manipuris to and from the state.