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One killed as Assam burns over Citizenship Bill, Army deployed, internet services suspended for 48 hours

There are reports of shops set on fire in Hijiguiri in Tinsukia district and vehicles damaged in Sivasagar district.

Published: 12th December 2019 11:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th December 2019 02:44 PM   |  A+A-

Assam protest

All Assam Student's Union activists hang the effigies of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, middle and Home Minister Amit Shah, second from left and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, second from right, during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Guwahati. (Photo: AP)

By Express News Service

The anti-CAB protests in Assam have intensified prompting Army deployment and curfew in many districts of the state. Five columns, each consisting of 70 soldiers and one or two officers, have been deployed in the state and Army personnel have been carrying out flag march and foot march in the curfew imposed places.

However, defying the curfew several hundreds have gathered at the Latasil playground in Guwahati since 11 AM after the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and artists in the state called out for a public gathering to protest the Bill.

Internet services in Assam have been suspended for another 48 hours, beginning from 12 noon on Thursday.

ALSO READ | CAB protests: One killed in Assam violence

The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday after getting the Lok Sabha nod on Monday amidst massive protests, particularly in Assam. The protestors on Wednesday burnt vehicles, pelted stones at the security personnel and broke security barricades several times in Guwahati. Police had to open fire in Dispur after water cannons, baton-charge and tear gas failed to rein protests in. 

ALSO READ  | Assam anti-CAB protests: BJP and RSS under fire, houses of CM Sonowal, other top leaders attacked

On Thursday, curfew has been imposed in the districts of Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Kamrup (Metro) where Guwahati is situated. Schools and colleges in the troublesome districts have been closed for the day. 

In many areas of Guwahati, pitched battle is going on between protestors and security officials. According to reports, 6-7 people have suffered bullet injury in Lalukgoan area of Guwahati.

At least one person was killed in violence in Tinsukia town when miscreants torched some shops, on Wednesday night.

There are also reports of vehicles damaged in Sivasagar district.

Tea garden workers in Lakhimpur have blocked the highway raising slogans against the government and the Bill.

Short distance trains within the state have been cancelled while the long-distance trains are stranded.

Both Assam and Tripura plunged into chaos after the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on Monday midnight and the situation deteriorated after the legislation passed its final hurdle in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday night.

In Assam, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was stuck at the airport earlier on Wednesday after the protests broke out. He, however, managed to reach his residence through the city.

The region is witnessing widespread protests over the Bill, which allows six immigrant communities, barring Muslim, from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh for Indian citizens.

Protesters have expressed concerns that refugees allowed by the Bill could endanger the identity and livelihood of indigenous people.

(With agency inputs)

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