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Centre to withdraw Army from Assam, Tripura as Citizenship Act protests recede

A total of 29 columns, each consisting of 70 soldiers and one or two officers, of Indian Army were deployed to help the local administration between December 11 and December 17.

Published: 25th December 2019 01:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2019 01:04 PM   |  A+A-

Army jawans conduct a flag-march in a locality during relaxation of curfew in Dibrugarh on Friday

Representational Image. (File | PTI)

By IANS

NEW DELHI: The central government has decided to gradually withdraw deployment of Indian Army and Assam Rifles contingents from Assam and Tripura as law and order situation has improved in these states after they witnessed violence during agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 two weeks ago, sources said on Wednesday.

"Situation in Assam and Tripura is back to normal. Law and order situation in both the states has improved. Indian Army and Assam Rifles contingents deployed in these states will be withdrawn, said a senior government officer.

As per requests by the Assam government, 29 columns, each consisting of 70 soldiers and one or two officers, of Indian Army were deployed to help the local administration between December 11 and December 17.

Similarly, as per the request by Tripura government, three columns of Assam Rifles were deployed in Tripura.

The personnel were tasked to help the local administration wherever and whenever required in these states. "As things have improved drastically and no incidents of violence or public demonstration have been reported in these states for past few days, these personnel are lying idle," said the officer.

The respective governments have assessed the law and order situation in their states and found that normalcy has been restored. The ground situation reports have been submitted to the Centre which has decided to gradually withdraw the deployment of Indian Army and Assam Rifles contingents.

Both Assam and Tripura plunged into chaos after Lok Sabha passed Citizenship Amendment Bill. The governments were forced to suspend Internet services in both the states fearing misuse of social media to disturb peace and tranquility and maintain law and order.

In Assam, the state Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was stuck at Guwahati Airport for several hours once protests broke out. Sonowal however managed to reach back at his residence through the city. But protest happened at his place also.

Internet services were suspended to thwart attempts by mischief mongers to disturb peace. An order issued by the Tripura government also prohibits SMSs on the networks of all mobile service providers.

The region witnessed widespread protests over the Bill, which allows six immigrant communities, barring Muslims, from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh for Indian citizens. Protesters have expressed concerns that refugees allowed by the Act could endanger identity and livelihood of indigenous people.

Before bringing Bill in the parliament, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had held extensive meetings with all the stakeholders in the northeast and then made appropriate exceptions and urged people not to be carried away by misinformation.



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