At least six women were injured when police fired tear gas shells at a group of people who had gathered to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Manipur’s capital Imphal on Sunday, the Imphal Free Press reported. The protests were organised at the Ima Keithel or Mother’s Market, where all the vendors are women.
The injured were shifted to the Regional Institute of Medical Science.
The women vendors have announced a total shutdown of the market till February 12. They staged a road blockade on Sunday morning and spent the night in the middle of the road. The women have extended support to the indefinite mass agitation called by the Manipur Peoples Against Citizenship Amendment Bill.
After protestors refused to vacate the site by 4 pm, the police resorting to firing tear gas shell and mock bombs to disperse them. The women came back later in the evening and resumed their protest.
“We strongly condemn police action. They have no respect for the womenfolk who are like their mothers and sisters,” said Khwairamband Nupi Keithel Saktam Kanba Lup General Secretary Thingujam Rani.
The bill 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 People’s Alliance Manipur has called a 36-hour strike in the state starting Monday, and a large number of security forces have been deployed to ensure law and order.
Manipur People against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill Convenor Yumnamcha Dilip said the on-road agitations will continue indefinitely till the legislation is completely withdrawn. Dilip asked the public to stop services, including commercial vehicle from plying, on February 12. He added that the organisation had boycotted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister, Rajnath Singh.
Nagaland civil society calls bandh
Naga civil society organisations, under the banner of Nagaland Gaon Burhas’ Federation, have called a statewide bandh on Monday from 6 am to 4 pm, reported the Nagaland Post.
On Sunday, the state government had asked the federation to call off the strike. “We are united and very clear in our resolve to protect the interests of the state,” The Telegraph quoted Chief Secretary Temjen Toy as saying.
The state government said it would take up the matter for discussion during the budget session on February 21 and propose adoption of a resolution to oppose the bill.