Assam remains on edge as protests against Citizenship Amendment Bill turn violent

In Guwahati, which is the epicentre of anti-Citizenship Amendment Bill protests, a man identified as Rahul Das suffered bullet injuries when police resorted to firing in Lachit Nagar in the city.

Assam remains on edge as protests against Citizenship Amendment Bill turn violent

Violent protests erupted in different parts of Assam on Wednesday (December 11) against Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019, which will give Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zorastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

In Guwahati, which is the epicentre of protests, a man identified as Rahul Das suffered bullet injuries when police resorted to firing in Lachit Nagar in the city. Das has been admitted to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital.

Sources told Zee Media that protesters also pelted stones on Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s residence in Lakhinagar in Dibrugarh district. The anti-CAB protesters also vandalised the residences of BJP MLA Prashanta Phukan and party leader Subhas Dutta.

An indefinite curfew was imposed in Guwahati and Dibrugarh district on Wednesday evening to keep the situation under control.  Guwahati police commissioner Deepak Kumar said, "Curfew has been imposed in Guwahati (Assam) since 6:15 pm today. It will remain imposed until normalcy is restored here."

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The protesters vandalised Chabua railway station in Dibrugarh district and also set ablaze the station after which the curfew was imposed there till further orders. The Panitola Railway station in Tinsukia district was also vandalized and set on fire. The Dibrugarh and Tinsukia railway stations have been put on high alert. Passengers have also been stranded at the Dibrugarh Airport.

It is feared that the situation could worsen on Thursday (December 12) as the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) has called for a shutdown in Assam to protest against CAB. A bus was torched by protesters, near Janta Bhawan in Dispur. Two columns of Army which were on standby at Bongaigaon and Dibrugarh have been sent to Guwahati. Sources said both the columns have been deployed in Guwahati.

Indian Railways has cancelled 12 trains and partially cancelled 10 trains on December 12-13 due to the indefinite 'Rail Roko' by various organisations and associations, in Tinsukia division and Lumding division in Assam. The Dibrugarh District Magistrate has ordered the closure of liquor licensed premises from 4 pm on Wednesday for 'preservation of public peace and tranquillity'.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday with 125 votes in favour and 99 against it. On Monday (December 10), the Bill was passed in Lok Sabha with a thumping majority.