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Citizenship Bill: Protest mounts in Imphal, internet shut down for 5 days

February 12: Amid protest over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, prohibitory orders was imposed by authority  in Imphal East and Imphal West of Manipur until further orders. Further, authorities have also shut down internet connectivity for five days across the state. The prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in the two districts were imposed last night.

Imphal East District Magistrate Chitra Devi imposed Section 144 late on Monday after receiving reports about possibly intense protests by Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill and People Alliance Manipur on Tuesday. Section 144 prohibits the assembly of four or more persons. Similar orders were issued in Imphal West.

While roads were deserted in both the districts, police personnel were seen informing people through loud speakers about imposition of the prohibitory orders and asking them to stay indoors. Security forces have also set up barricades on major roads. Security has been strengthened in the residences of MLAs and ministers, including that of Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

The controversial bill is likely to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday despite opposition from several political parties in the North East, including allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The bill seeks to provide citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India, instead of 12 years, which is the norm currently, even if they do not possess any document.

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