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IMPHAL, January 14, 2019: Protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 gained momentum in Manipur even as the Union Home Minister reportedly promised to protect the interests of North Eastern states.
Effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla were burnt during one of the protests staged under the aegis of Youth's Action Committee for the Protection of Indigenous Peoples (YACPIP) in Thoubal district on Sunday. Hundreds of people, including womenfolk and students of different schools and colleges, took part in the protest rally carried out on the street along the Imphal-Moreh section of NH-102.
YACPIP staged the protest showing solidarity to the agitations against the passage of the Citizenship Bill by the Lok Sabha, spearheaded by the six student bodies of the state.
The six student bodies – AMSU, MSF, DESAM, SUK, KSA and AIMS have announced launching of a sustained mass agitation while strongly opposing Central government's initiative to transform the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 into an Act.
Taking part in the protest, YACPIP leaders said the passing of the bill was another discriminatory action against the indigenous people of the North East states. Another protest staged at Khundrakpam in Imphal East district was also participated in by a large number of people of the area. Meanwhile, joining the chorus, All India Student Federation (AISF) Manipur state branch Sunday demanded resignation of the state BJP president K Bhabananda from Rajya Sabha.
"Babananda must resign on moral grounds", AISF state secretary, Kh Rameshwor demanded while addressing a news conference at its offices in Imphal.
AISF will also submit a memorandum to the President of India to urge him not to give his assent to the bill. The memorandum will be submitted on January 16 after a meeting with leaders of the national council of the federation, he added.