Thousands of passengers stranded amid Citizenship bill protests

Transportation was severely disrupted in North East India due to ongoing violent protests in the region against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Some 106 trains were cancelled or short terminated by Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) and dozens of flights were cancelled at Guwahati Airport.

Thousands of passengers were left stranded.

For the few flights and trains that arrived at rail stations and airports, the incoming passengers were abandoned due to the unavailability of public transportation.

Taxi drivers did not want to take the risk of their vehicles being torched and vandalised by violent demonstrators.

On Thursday the airport was packed with the capacity forcing army and police to ferry  thousands of passengers in six buses to a peaceful areas in Guwahati. Hotels and lodges in and around the airport had no free rooms.

At least seven states of India are against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which will grant citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries.

The bill, seeks to amend the 1955 citizenship law, aims to give citizenship to “persecuted” minorities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but excludes Muslims.

Opposition parties say the bill is discriminatory as it singles out Muslims in an officially secular nation of 1.3 billion people. Muslims form nearly 15 percent of the population.

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