Protests to intensify until Citizenship Bill is withdrawn: CPI-M

Agartala: Until the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is withdrawn, protests against it will intensify, especially in the Northeast, former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said on Monday.

Sarkar was addressing a protest rally against the Bill here and said if it became an Act, it would destroy the fundamental facet of the Indian Constitution.

He said the Bharatiya Janata Party government was determined to make the Bill a law for its narrow political interests despite widespread protests.

The Bill seeks to grant citizenship to migrants from six non-Muslim minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. If it becomes law, “outsiders” could overwhelm the locals in the northeast, political parties say.

Sarkar, who was Chief Minister for 20 years since 1998, said: “The British once divided the country. Fresh attempts are being made to further divide the nation by destroying the secular fabric of the Constitution…

“Numerous ethnic, religion and linguistic groups, tribals and non-tribals are living in harmony in the Northeast.

“Peace has been established in the Northeast after taming decades of terrorism. BJP leaders are fuelling the fire for their political and electoral gains,” the Marxist leader added.