Monday July 22, 2019
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Assam stands still: Hundreds arrested in 12-hour Bandh

source: Indiatv

By Newsgram Staff Writer

Guwahati: Assam came to a stand-still on Saturday due to the 12-hour bandh called by the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP). Hundreds of bandh supporters were arrested following Reports of stray incidents of violence from districts across the state

The AJYCP had called the bandh in protest against the central government’s decision to grant citizenship to Bangladeshi and Pakistani non-Muslim migrants, who had entered India till December last year due to religious persecution.

deserted-guwahati-club-area-during-assam-bandh-113518At least 11 other organisations of the state including the Asom Gana Parishad and student organisations of Motock, Moran, Dimasa, Karbi, Goriya-Moriya, Sonowal-Kachari, Madahi and Bishnupuria Manipuri communities supported the bandh called by the AJYCP.

Schools, colleges, other educational institutions and commercial establishments remained closed during the bandh.

Except for a few buses of the Assam State Transport Corporation running in some areas, the roads were exempt from vehicular traffic in most districts.

Bandh supporters blocked national and state highways by burning tyres and in many districts, came out on to the streets in several areas to enforce the bandh.

In districts like Kamrup, Nagaon, Lakhimpur, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh, bandh supporters forced some drivers out of their vehicles and made them stand for several hours leading to stray incidents of violence.

Some of the supporters also partially destroyed some vehicles in Tezpur. This led to the arrest of scores of protesters, police said, adding that they were released later.


Meanwhile, Assam’s leading farmers’ body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) launched a hunger strike at Dighalipukhuripar in Guwahati on Saturday to protest against the Centre’s move and said that they would launch a mass movement opposing the Centre’s decision.

“The government started updating the National Register of Citizens to make the state free of illegal Bangladeshi citizens. However, now the government takes a decision that all the non-Muslims from Bangladesh and Pakistan would be allowed to stay in India and would be given citizenship,” said KMSS leader Kamal Medhi.

“This is a condemnable move of the central government. This is not only against the people of Assam and against the spirit of the historical Assam Accord but also leads to a threat to national security,” Medhi said, adding that Saturday’s fast is just the beginning of a massive mass movement.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Trump Administration Gearing Up to Expedite Initial Screenings of Immigrants Seeking Asylum

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli has directed officers to interview detained immigrant

Trump, Administration, Immigrants
Asylum officers usually wait about 48 hours to interview and hear the case of an immigrant. VOA

The Trump administration is gearing up to expedite initial screenings of immigrants seeking asylum, moving to interview immigrants within one calendar day.

Asylum officers usually wait about 48 hours to interview and hear the case of an immigrant who has been detained after crossing into the United States.

However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli has directed officers to interview detained immigrant within one calendar day. The news site Buzzfeed, which said it had obtained a copy of the directive released to CIS employees, first reported the policy change Monday.

VOA confirmed the report Monday night.

Trump, Administration, Immigrants
The Trump administration is gearing up to expedite initial screenings of immigrants seeking asylum. Pixabay

“As part of our efforts to make the expedited removal process more efficient and effective, USCIS is modifying the consultation period to better align with today’s operational realities,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) spokeswoman Jessica Collins told VOA.

Though Collins did not say when the new set of directives would begin, she said, “This will help make the entire expedited removal process more expeditious and help prevent bottlenecking in the system.”

The Buzzfeed report said advocates believe the move is expected to give “immigrants less time to prepare for their interviews or recover from dangerous journeys.”

The credible fear interview (CFI) is an initial screening where immigrants must show there is a compelling chance they will be persecuted or can demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country, according to the USCIS .

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“But by law, asylum-seekers have a right to ‘consult with a person or persons of [their] choosing’ before a CFI. Hard to do that within 24 hours,” Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a policy analyst at the American Immigration Council, shared on Twitter.

In the meantime, USCIS has updated their website to show the change.

“USCIS requires a wait of at least one full calendar day after the applicant arrives at the detention site before conducting the credible fear interview, in order to give the applicant time to contact a consultant,” the website shows — a change from “USCIS requires a wait of at least 48 hours … in order to give the applicant time to recover from the journey.” (VOA)