Non-Left parties voice protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Tripura

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Khuwlung (West Tripura) [India], Feb.8 (ANI): Non-Left parties took part in a 12-hour-long shutdown protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 here on Wednesday. Spearheaded by the All Tripura Indigenous Regional Parties Forum (ATIRPF), the shutdown resulted in the area wearing a deserted look. Shops, markets, offices, banks and educational institutions remained closed, while train services were disturbed. Animesh Debbarma, joint convener of the ATIRPF, said that the forum was of the view that if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is made into law, the interests of Tripura's tribal communities would be harmed irreparably. He also said that the forum is against the Centre's move to rehabilitate minority Hindus from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the state. He suggested any such rehabilitation should take place in the neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh which had the geographical space to facilitate such a habitation exercise. "Look at Arunachal Pradesh, it has around 83,000 square kilometers and only a population of 13 lakh, whereas Tripura has around 10,000 square kilometers and a population of 39 lakhs. Where are the resources in Tripura to accommodate this influx. We cannot support this Bill," he said. The ATIRPF consists of the INPT, IPFT and the NCT. CPI-M leader Radhacharan Debbarma objected to the ATIRPF-spearheaded shutdown. He said religion and faith should have no role to play in granting or not granting a person or persons' citizenship. He said his party was also not supportive of the Bill. (ANI)