GUWAHATI, Oct 22 - Assam braces for a showdown tomorrow over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, with 46 organisations of the State calling for a 12-hour bandh on Tuesday and the State government working overtime to foil it.
The 46 organisations led by AJYCP and KMSS remained firm in their stand even as they clarified that tomorrow�s shutdown was not against any particular community.
�It has been called against the government and to demand withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The BJP government is adopting bullying tactics to thwart the bandh by threatening employees with salary cuts and businessmen with cancellation of trade licences. This is not acceptable in a democratic country. We appeal to all to observe the bandh as a national duty,� AJYCP general secretary Palash Changmai told The Assam Tribune.
The AGP is also likely to take out a protest rally in the city tomorrow to protest against the proposed bill. The entire top leadership of the regional party, including former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, is likely to take part in the rally that will begin at the Latasil playground here around 10 am, party sources said.
Meanwhile, citing directions issued by the Supreme Court and the High Courts from time to time, the State government has issued instructions to all its officials and employees up to panchayat level to attend duty �invariably on that day and any absence will be strictly dealt with departmentally�.
Instructions have also been given to DCs and SPs to hold meetings with business establishments and urge them to keep their shops open tomorrow.
�Any deviation to the instructions may result in cancellation of trade licences. Similar meetings with transporters and other agencies should be held for maintaining normalcy of operation. Essential services like electricity, water, health, power, food and civil supply should be maintained,� the government sources stated, quoting the instructions to the administrations.
Heavy deployment of forces is expected in the morning hours to instil �confidence in the general public, commuters and government servants, etc�. Police has also been asked to escort public transport vehicles for safe movement of the general public, government officers and staff.
�Instructions have been given to arrest picketers and keep them in designated jails. Strict watch would be kept on trouble mongers. The administrations have been asked to activate control rooms for the benefit of people,� sources in the Home department said.