In the wake of protests over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was passed earlier Lok Sabha, another issue that hit headlines was the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Amendment Bill, 2019, that will grant ST status to six communities in Assam. Tabled by Union government, the new contentious Bill is to console the indigenous people and will be granted by the Centre to Ahoms, Marans, Muttocks, Chutiyas, Koch-Rajbongshis and Tea Communities.
To this, the tribal organisation has called for a state-wide shutdown from 5 AM of January 11, 2019, for 24 hours. The tribal community has claimed that by providing ST status to the other communities, the State and the Central governments are seeking to banish the real tribal people of the Northeastern state.
Meanwhile, just after the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Assam witnessed a massive shutdown which was called by various organisations. Media reports said protests were held in many parts of the state and protesters burnt the effigy of Prime minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal as a sign of resistance.
Media reports also said literary critic Hiren Gohain, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) boss Akhil Gogoi along with former journalist Manjit Mahanta have been also been booked for seditious comments over the Citizenship Bill.
While terming the bill as anti-Assam, BJP’s ally Asom Gana Parishad walked out of the alliance and three of its ministers resigned from Sonowal’s government to protest against the tabling of Citizenship Amendment bill, that will allow the entry of six religious non-Muslims refugees from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, in Assam.