With the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill scheduled to be tabled in Rajya Sabha in a few hours, curfew has been imposed for the day in Imphal city and mobile internet services shut down for five days across the state, officials told The Indian Express.
A senior police officer confirmed the development and said restrictions under Section 144 was imposed both in Imphal East and West districts on Tuesday. The development came in the wake of a series of protests in the state against the proposed Citizenship Bill.
A 36-hour state-wide shutdown started in Manipur from 5 am Monday in response to a call by civil bodies under the banner of the umbrella body People’s Alliance Manipur (PAM). Meanwhile, civil society groups also carried out black flag protests in Imphal on Monday.
The women vendors of the Ima Market of Imphal also continued their protest against the Bill — the police had tear-gassed the protesters on Sunday to disperse them.
The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 by relaxing the eligibility rules for an immigrant — belonging to six minority (non-Muslim) religions, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan — in getting Indian citizenship.
Many in the Northeast — including the political opposition, some BJP leaders in Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya, and powerful social organisations — hold the Bill to be a threat to the indigenous people of the region.
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh has reiterated that the state government “strongly opposes” the Bill.