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News18 » India
1-min read

PM Modi's Visit to Assam to Inaugurate 'Khelo India' Games Cancelled Amid Anti-CAA Protests

The decision comes in the backdrop of widespread protests in the state against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which seeks to make religion the basis for granting citizenship.

News18.com

Updated:January 8, 2020, 3:38 PM IST
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PM Modi's Visit to Assam to Inaugurate 'Khelo India' Games Cancelled Amid Anti-CAA Protests
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Image: RSTV/PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was scheduled to visit Assam on Friday to inaugurate the third edition of ‘Khelo India’ Youth Games in Guwahati, has reportedly called off his visit, sources aware of the developments said.

The decision comes in the backdrop of widespread protests in the state against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which seeks to make religion the basis for granting citizenship.

The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) had earlier warned that a "massive protest" will be organised if PM Modi comes to inaugurate the games on January 10. Demanding immediate repeal of the contentious citizenship act, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said the organisation will observe all the actions of the government to deviate peoples' attention from the movement.

The country has seen widespread protests over the contentious legislation, which seeks to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, as critics term it discriminatory.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also faced the ire of protesters.

The meet between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and PM Modi, too, was postponed as Guwahati — the planned venue for the summit — was engulfed in violent protests.

Security and logistical concerns were raised by the Japanese side as it was getting difficult for teams to reach Guwahati due to cancellation of flights to Assam. Those who had reached Guwahati were unable to access venues and hotels due to unrest in the city, they said.

Though shifting the venue to Delhi was discussed, it was ruled out for two reasons. First, logistics for the visiting team and pre-visit security recce and other aspects need to factor in the comfort of the visiting delegation for which time was very limited.

Second, the idea behind choosing Guwahati was to further the purpose of "Act East" policy and in consonance with the India-Japan Act East Forum that came into being in 2017 when Abe last visited India for the annual summit.

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