Anti-CAB protests in Assam: Curfew imposed in Guwahati; mobile internet services suspended in 10 districts after thousands take to streets

A day after a total shutdown in Assam to protest against the CAB, fresh protests erupted in the state on Wednesday while the legislation was being debated in the Rajya Sabha.

FP Staff December 11, 2019 19:57:10 IST
Anti-CAB protests in Assam: Curfew imposed in Guwahati; mobile internet services suspended in 10 districts after thousands take to streets
  • Curfew has been imposed in Guwahati till indefinite period amid violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

  • Mobile internet and data services have been suspended for 24 hours starting 7 pm Wednesday in ten districts of Assam

  • Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukua, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup are the ten districts where the data services have been suspended, according to a notification issued by the government

  • Tens of thousands of protesters against the CAB descended on the streets of Assam, clashing with police and plunging the state into chaos

  • The fresh protests erupted spontaneously in the state on Wednesday, the day the Rajya Sabha passed the contentious bill following a debate in the Parliament

Curfew has been imposed in Guwahati for an indefinite period, while mobile internet and data services have been suspended in ten districts including Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Lakhinpur, till 7 pm Thursday, amid violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, across the state.

Tens of thousands of protesters against the CAB descended on the streets of Assam, clashing with police and plunging the state into chaos of a magnitude unseen since the violent six-year movement by students that ended with the signing of the Assam Accord.

AntiCAB protests in Assam Curfew imposed in Guwahati mobile internet services suspended in 10 districts after thousands take to streets

Protestors burn hoardings and other materials during their march against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Guwahati on Wednesday. PTI

Though no party or student body has called a shutdown, protesters, a majority of them students, fought pitched battles with security forces in the restive state, including in front of the secretariat, the seat of the BJP government.

Police fired tear gas shells and baton-charged protesters, who fought back.

Assam smouldered with protests on the day the Rajya passed the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill following a hotly debated discussion on the legality of the Bill,  after its passage by the Lok Sabha.

The curfew, which was imposed at 6.15 pm, has been extended till indefinite period, Assam Police Additional Director General (Law and Order) Mukesh Agrawal told PTI.

"We will periodically review the situation and take the decision to lift it accordingly," he added.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which has already been approved by Lok Sabha, proposes to give citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Jains, Budhists and Sikhs facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The Assam government on Wednesday suspended mobile internet and data services of all service providers for 24 hours starting 7 pm Wednesday in Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup districts, according to a notification issued by the government.

In Dibrugarh, to tackle the situation, the police had to fire rubber bullets and resort to lathi charge on the protesters, police said.

A journalist was injured in stone-pelting by a mob and the police lobbed tear gas shells to disperse them near a polytechnic institute in Dibrugarh town, police said.

AntiCAB protests in Assam Curfew imposed in Guwahati mobile internet services suspended in 10 districts after thousands take to streets

Police resort to baton charge to disperse protesters against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 in Guwahati. PTI

Though no organisation has called for a bandh on Wednesday, people have come out in large numbers in Jorhat, Golaghat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Bongaigaon, Nagaon, Sonitpur and several other districts since morning.

Tyres were burnt and logs placed on the roads and rail tracks to stop the movement of vehicles and trains across the state, officials said.

Police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse protesters to clear the roads and rail tracks near Chaulkhowa in Dibrugarh.

Rubber bullets were fired and lathi-charge was carried out against agitators at Moran in the district, police said.

Kumar Sanjay Krishna, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam, ordered the suspension of mobile internet services saying that there are probabilities of such protests intensifying. Citing reports in the electronic media, he said that "the protesters are involved in vandalism which is likely to spread and create law and order situation in the state".

AntiCAB protests in Assam Curfew imposed in Guwahati mobile internet services suspended in 10 districts after thousands take to streets

"Social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube etc, are likely to be used for spreading of rumours and also the transmission of information like pictures, videos and text that have potential to inflame passions and thus exacerbate the law and order situation," he added in the order.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Hike messaging app pulled down from Google Play Store and Apple App Store
News & Analysis

Hike messaging app pulled down from Google Play Store and Apple App Store

Hike official said that global companies like Telegram, Signal were too strong and unless India bans foreign firms, it is difficult for homegrown apps.

Parliamentary panel summons Facebook, Twitter officials over misuse of social media platforms on 21 Jan
India

Parliamentary panel summons Facebook, Twitter officials over misuse of social media platforms on 21 Jan

The summons comes amid a raging debate after messaging platform WhatsApp updated its privacy policy. The panel, chaired by Shashi Tharoor, will hear the representations from 4:00 pm

WhatsApp delays new privacy policy by three months amid backlash over data sharing with Facebook
News & Analysis

WhatsApp delays new privacy policy by three months amid backlash over data sharing with Facebook

WhatsApp now says it is now going to use the three-month delay to better communicate both the changes in its new policy and its long-standing privacy practices