INDIA celebrated Lohri, Pongal and Makar Sankranti on Wednesday along with Assam which celebrated Magh or Bhogali Bihu, the annual harvest festival, with traditional fervour, amidst protest over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha .It seeks to provide citizenship to the non-Muslims migrated due to India before December 31, 2014.due to persecution from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Wednesday marks the first day of the Assamese calendar month of ‘Magh’. Bihu celebrations started from Monday night that marked ‘Uruka’, the last day of the Assamese month of ‘Puh’.Following the ‘Uruka’ night feasting, people today morning lit the traditional bonfire called ‘Meji’ to pray to the god of fire and seek blessings for the new year. As per the customs, people started visiting friends and families during the fest. People lit the traditional bonfire called ‘Meji’ seeking blessings for the New Year as several organisations continued their protests against the Centre’s move to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill .Various organisations and individuals fasted during the festival to express anger and anguish for losing their demographic identity due to enactment of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Assam’s AGP, AASU,Left parties, Congress and TMC are vehemently opposing the bill.AGP and AASU have walked out the ruling BJP government saying the bill intends to amend the historic 1985 Assam Accord with people of Assam remaining divided over the provisions of the bill. Home Minister Rajnath Singh is interacting with stakeholders ahead of the coming Budget Session of Parliament in the last week of this month. Government says the bill is not Assam or NE specific. Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are Islamist nations and hence, no Muslim will be forced to leave his or homeland due to religious beliefs.
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