Protests continue in NE against Citizenship Act; Shah's visit to Meghalaya, Arunachal cancelled

Kashmir Times. Dated: 12/14/2019 4:50:48 PM

NEW DELHI, Dec 13 (Agencies): Protests continued in Assam on Friday as people came out to defy the government-imposed curfew and protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB).
The Army and security forces continued flag marches in Guwahati city, a day after two persons were killed in police firing during the violent protests.
Given the uncertain situation, long queues were seen outside grocery stores, shops selling poultry items and fish. Many said they were stocking items for at least three-four days in case the curfew is extended.
There were no reports of further violence from Guwahati where cultural personalities and civil society members are on fast for 10 hours following a call given by the All Assam Students Union (AASU), which is spearheading the protests.
AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said, "We will not succumb to any pressure and our agitation will continue."
The situation in the Assam's state capital, Guwahati, worsened on Thursday after two protesters were killed in police firing.
Police on Thursday said they had to open fire in Lalung Gaon area in Guwahati after stones were hurled by protestors. They also resorted to aerial firing in several other areas of the city, including the Guwahati-Shillong Road which turned into a war zone as protestors allegedly vandalised shops and buildings, burnt tyres and clashed with security forces.
Protesters also set ablaze the house of MLA Binod Hazarika in Chabua and went on a rampage torching vehicles.
In another incident, the Army said it rescued passengers of an express train from a mob trying to set the carriages on fire at Naharkatia railway station.
An Army spokesperson said the mob had surrounded the Silchar-Dibrugarh Brahmaputra Express at Naharkatia and were in the process of setting it on fire when security forces intervened.
In Shillong, the curfew was relaxed on Friday for 12 hours, beginning 10 am, with no untoward incident being reported from the areas, officials said.
The curfew was imposed on Thursday night in areas under Sadar and Lumdiengjri police station limits, which comprise at least 20 neighbourhoods of North Shillong and Mawprem. However, Union Home Minister Amit Shah's scheduled visit to Shillong on December 15 to attend a function in North-Eastern Police Academy (NEPA), has been postponed in view of the "law and order situation in the region".
The mobile Internet and SMS services were shut down for 48 hours across Meghalaya on Thursday.
CVD Diengdoh, additional secretary to the government of Meghalaya (home police) department, on Thursday, said that mobile Internet and messaging were suspended for 48 hours from 5 pm on Thursday in entire Meghalaya to prevent potential threat to public safety through SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The district administration of East Khasi Hills district has imposed curfew in few areas of the city from 10 pm on Thursday night until further orders.
Protests against the controversial Bill also took place in national capital Delhi on Thursday with hundreds of Delhi University students burning copies of the "unconstitutional" legislation and people raising anti-government slogans at India Gate.
The CAB received President Ram Nath Kovind's nod on Thursday and it will now become a law.
The contentious bill that will grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The Lok Sabha had cleared it on Monday.



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