Guwahati: While the entire nation on Saturday celebrated the 70th Republic Day with great pomp, Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan addressed an almost empty ground at the Republic Day celebration in Aizawl due to massive protests and boycott call given by various organisations against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.

The Republic Day function was held at Assam Rifles ground, Aizawl and the general public had boycotted it.

According to reports, only ministers, legislators, officials of the Mizoram government had attended the function.

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The boycott call was given by the NGO Coordination Committee, an organisation of civil society groups and student bodies, including Young Mizo Association, Mizoram Upa Pawl, Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl, Mizo Zirlai Pawl, and Mizo Students’ Union.

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The protesters had staged a demonstration in front of the Assam Rifles ground and shouted slogans against the controversial Bill.

Up to 30 contingents traditionally take part in the Republic Day parade, but this year, only six armed contingents took part in the annual event.

In his speech, the Mizoram Governor said that the state government is committed to promote and preserve the Mizo identity, tradition, cultures, values and it would introduce the socio-economic development policy aiming for progress in the state.

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It is to be mentioned that protests are ongoing in Assam and other states of the Northeastern region against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is aimed to grant Indian citizenship to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

On the other hand, the 70th Republic Day has been celebrated in Assam and other parts of the Northeastern region peacefully, despite the boycott called by eight banned terrorist outfits.

Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi hoisted the national flag at Khanapara parade ground in Guwahati and he also extended greetings to the people of the state.