Black flags welcome Modi to Assam

Black flags and torch light procession against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi here as he began his two-day visit to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura on Friday.

Members of various organisations agitating against the bill waved black flags all along the 20-km route from LGBI airport at Borjhar to Raj Bhavan, which Modi took after landing on Friday evening. The protesters braved the tight security and shouted "Go Back Narendra Modi", "Modi Hai Hai". 
 
"Modi has proved to be protector of illegal Bangladeshi migrants by passing the bill in the Lok Sabha. Indigenous Assamese will continue to fight against it," leader of All Assam Students' Union, Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya said.
 
Modi will lay the foundation stone for an airport near Itanagar and a tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday morning before returning to Guwahati to lay the foundation stone for a gas pipeline and a bridge over the Brahmaputra between Guwahati and North Guwahati at Changsari, about 20 km west of the city. Modi will then go to Agartala in Tripura to inaugurate a railway project and a structure of Indian Institute of Information Technology.
 
Leaders of regional party Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which recently quit the BJP-led alliance government opposing the bill, took out a torchlight procession. 

Indigenous identity

"The passage of the bill will destroy the indigenous identity of the Assamese community. We will be reduced to minority, linguistically and politically," said AGP leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.
 
The Northeast is up against the bill as it seeks to allow "persecuted minorities" from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to apply for Indian citizenship after a stay of six years. CPM MPs in Tripura decided to boycott Modi's programme in protest.
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