Tripura Daily News | Agartala, May 19, 2018:
As protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 continue to rock Northeast India, the situation in Tripura, however, is unlikely with the Government refusing to allow a students’ organisation to hold protest rally against the proposed bill on May 21.
The Tripura Government on Saturday rejected the application submitted by the Twipra Students Federation (TSF) on May 16, seeking permission to hold a peaceful protest rally against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 citing law and order pre-occupation.
When contacted, TSF president Biswajit Kalai said “We will be holding a meeting tomorrow to chalk out the future course of action but it is very likely that we will continue to hold the rally despite permission being denied.”
Meanwhile, TSF general secretary, Sunil Debbarman has termed the government’s move as ‘undemocratic’ and an attempt to silence their voice. “This is a crucial matter not only for Tripura but the entire Northeast region and we cannot remain mute spectators,” he said adding that considering the fact that Tripura shares an international border with Bangladesh, it becomes all the more important for the government to study and analyse the negative aspects of the bill.
“We understand that the government is preparing for the vice president’s visit scheduled on May 23 but all we asked for was an hour’s time to hold the peaceful rally on May 21 as was done by other students’ organisations in other Northeastern states; but it is very unbecoming of the government to reject our application. Having said that, we will not be cowered down, we will continue to raise our voice,” said Debbarman.
“Really unfortunate that the Tripura Govt has denied permission for a peaceful protest rally to Twipra Students Federation (TSF) against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,” tweeted an Arunachal Pradesh-based students’ union leader Marli Kamki while questioning the intentions of chief minister, Biplab Kumar Deb.
It may be reminded that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has drawn flaks from several quarters in Northeast India for its ‘unrealistic’ and ‘harmful’ clauses with students’ organisations from Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura expressing strong opposition against this bill.
And while the Meghalaya government has already decided ‘Not’ to support the bill, the other state governments of the Northeast are yet to take a call on the issue even as demands and requests from several groups to follow Meghalaya government’s path grow louder.