The police on Saturday arrested nine persons and detained 13 for waving black flags at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Assam on Friday night for a two-day visit to the North East. Speaking to Scroll.in, Guwahati Police Commissioner Deepak Kumar confirmed the development.
The protestors were demonstrating against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The legislation seeks to amend a 1955 law to grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from the Muslim-majority nations of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan if they have lived in India for six years. Most northeastern states have opposed the proposed legislation, and it has sparked several protests in the region.
The detained included four members of the Asom Jatiyabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad, including the student body’s Guwahati city committee president Pradip Kalita, The Times Of India reported. Five students of the Gauhati University were detained as well. They reportedly waved black flags at Modi’s convoy as it drove to the Guwahati airport on Saturday morning.
Modi was shown black flags upon his arrival in Guwahati on Friday night. Protests against the bill continued in Assam on Saturday, with more protestors waving black flags at the prime minister.
However, Modi assured citizens that the bill, if passed, would not hurt the interests of Assam and the North East. He claimed that “people who sit in AC rooms” were spreading rumours against the proposed legislation.
Congress workers also organised black flag protests in Agartala against Modi during his visit to Tripura on Saturday, Northeast Now reported. “In Tripura, the indigenous and people in the plains are fed up with the commitment Modi had made but still he is giving ‘jumla’ speeches,” said former state Congress president Gopal Roy.
Several black flag protests were also held in Andhra Pradesh against Modi, who is set to address a rally in Guntur on Sunday. Posters have come up across Guntur city with the slogan “Modi go back” and “Modi no entry”.