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NESO shutdown hits Meghalaya, Sangma government says ‘no’ to Citizenship Bill

Oppose Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016Shillong : Normal life came to a standstill in Meghalaya on Tuesday during a dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by the North East Students Organisation (NESO) in protest against the Modi government’s move to go ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The BJP-backed Sangma government in Meghalaya had said that it will not support the controversial Citizenship Bill that seeks to give citizenship to illegal migrants of six religious minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Almost all government establishments and educational institutions remained closed across the state. Public transport went off the roads.

“Thin attendance was recorded in government offices,” an official said.

NESO supporters blocked roads with boulders and burnt tyres in several parts of the state. There were also reports of some vehicles being vandalized.

National Highway No. 40 and 44, the lifeline for landlocked Mizoram, Tripura and parts of Manipur and Assam, were also affected by the shutdown.

“There were no reports of any major incidents from any part of the state,” Director General of Police R. Chandranathan told IANS.

“There is no confusion about our stand. We were the first state government and cabinet to come out with an official resolution that we are against the bill,” Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma told journalists on Monday night.

Asked if the National People’s Party will put out of the BJP-led NDA government, the NPP Chief said: “We have been very clear to the NDA that this is something we will not support. We will see when the time comes, but as of now, we have made our stand clear that we are not supporting the Bill.”

—IANS

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