Guwahati: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday asked protesters to not spread "misinformation" over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, as the state came to a grinding halt due to a day-long strike called by nearly 20 organisations against the legislation.
Sonowal, speaking at a programme in Guwahati, said no one should allow "divisive forces" to destabilise the state. "In order to put Assam strongly on the world map, we all must work dedicatedly. Building a robust work culture in the state should be the prime objective of everyone and youths must not be misled to join agitations," he said.
Normal life was paralysed in Assam's Brahmaputra Valley during the shutdown that was led by the All Assam Students' Union and the North East Students' Organisation (NESO). Several Left-leaning organisations, including the SFI, DYFI, AIDWA, AISF and AISA had also called a shutdown separately.
Agitators engaged in scuffle with security forces near the Secretariat and Assembly buildings in Assam when they were prevented from moving forward, police said. Train services across Assam were affected as picketers blocked the tracks, a spokesperson for the Railways said.
According to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, non-Muslim minorities, who fled religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and moved to the country before 31 December, 2014, will be accorded Indian citizenship.
Home Minister Amit Shah has asserted that the Modi government was committed to protecting the customs and culture of the northeastern states in an effort to assuage concerns that the proposed law will hurt their distinct identity and alter regional demography.
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Updated Date: Dec 10, 2019 23:53:11 IST