Tripura govt bars leaders from meeting the injured

Tripura govt bars leaders from meeting the injured

NESO leaders in Agartala on Friday. Photo by Pranab Shil/Agartala. 

BJP government in Tripura on Friday barred leaders of North East Students Organisation (NESO) from meeting five of their members, who were injured in police firing during Tuesday's bandh against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. 

A delegation of the NESO had visited Khunglung hospital near Tripura capital Agartala on Friday but police did not allow them to meet the injured citing that Section 144 of CRPC was in force, that disallows gathering of more than five persons.

"Police said there was an order from the state government not to allow us to meet the injured. This is nothing but an autocratic style of the BJP government. First police fired at the students just because they were protesting against the bill and now they are not allowing us to meet them. We are not here to create disturbance but to show solidarity with them," NESO advisor, Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya told reporters in Agartala.

At least six members of Tripura Students' Federation were injured after police fired at them when they blocked a highway and burnt tyre, during the bandh called by NESO.

"Police opened fire at the protesters and they stopped the ambulance carrying the injured to hospital. Now the government has barred free movement of people, which is a fundamental right. There is an emergency like situation in Tripura due to autocratic style of functioning of the BJP government," he said.

"But we will continue to fight for indigenous people and will never allow BJP to use Northeast as dumping ground for illegal migrants by passing the bill," he said.

This comes a day IPFT, an ally of the Tripura government condemned the attack and demanded a judicial inquiry into the police firing. 

The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 to offer citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Sikhs, who had migrated from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan due to 'religious persecution,' after a stay of six years.

Many organisations in Assam are opposed to the bill saying this would make the 'large Hindu illegal migrants' already living in Assam Indian citizens. They fear the move will reduce them into minority and nullify Assam Accord of 1985 that promised to detect, delete and deport illegal migrants by updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) with March 24, 1971 as the cut off date, irrespective of religion.