Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Guwahati for a two-day tour of the Northeast on Friday evening, only to be greeted with black flags and angry activists protesting the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill. Several civil society groups across the Northeast — including the All Assam Students Union — have decided to intensify their ongoing agitation in view of PM Modi’s visit, which will include public rallies and foundation-laying ceremonies across Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Tripura.
The Prime Minister was also shown black flags and greeted with “Narendra Modi, Go Back” slogans while he was heading to Raj Bhawan from the airport.
Meanwhile, the agitation over the Citizenship Amendment Bill continued in the Northeast, and is expected to intensify when the Prime Minister embarks on a whirlwind tour of the region on Saturday. This would be his first visit to the region ever since massive protests erupted in the region over the controversial legislation that is expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha soon. The lower house had passed it amid raging protests early last month.
The legislation, which seeks to to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from three neighbouring countries, has evoked allegations of religious discrimination from rights activists as well as political parties.
A massive protest was taken out by royal scion Pradyot Manikya Deb Barman in Tripura’s Dhalai district earlier this week over three Tripura-based tribal leaders being charged under the sedition law for taking part in an agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. They have been accused of shouting anti-India slogans.
Agitations have now intensified across Nagaland and Manipur, with several civil society groups as well as regional parties calling for a boycott of the Prime Minister’s tour of the region. Massive protests are expected in the region on Saturday.
The Asom Gana Parishad — the BJP’s former alliance partner in Assam — took out a massive torchlight march against the controversial bill on Friday evening.