Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday made an appeal to the people of Assam to maintain peace and not get misled on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which has been passed by both Houses of the Parliament. He appealed people not to resort to violence of any kind and assured them that their indigenous identity will remain protected. He requested the youth to take a step forward to create an environment of peace and tranquility.
Protests against the bill have been rampant across the North-East especially in Assam. Tens of thousands of protesters had descended on the streets of Assam and clashed with police. A large number of protestors were detained by the police in Guwahati, Dibrugarh, etc. According to reports, five columns of Army have been deployed at several places in the state and in Tripura. The Assam government has imposed curfew and discontinued mobile internet and data services for 24 hours across 10 districts.
Pointing out the exemptions in the bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress for instilling violence which is currently rampant in Assam and parts of Tripura. He assured the North-Easterners that their indigenous culture will not be affected by CAB and he appealed them to refrain from violence as the Centre is committed to their development. He further appealed Asam to put their faith in Modi.
Amid widespread protest over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Assam, state Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had earlier called the passage of the bill in Lok Sabha a "historic moment". "The passage of the Bill in Lok Sabha is a historic moment for us all. It will not only give relief to six persecuted minority communities from three neighbouring countries but will also pave the way for constitutional safeguards to the indigenous people of Assam," Sonowal tweeted. The Bill seeks to give Indian citizenship to members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there.