On Wednesday evening, authorities clamped curfew in Guwahati after day-long clashes between the police and protesters opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019.
“Curfew has been imposed in Guwahati at 6:15 pm. We have also called in the army,” Assam’s Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Agarwal said. The curfew will remain in force indefinitely, he said.
Earlier, Assam Police Director-General Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said the curfew will be in place till 7 am on Thursday.
On Thursday, thousands of protestors defied the curfew in Guwahati, on a fresh day of standing against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
Officials said 20-30 people have been hurt in the protests in recent days, with vehicles torched and police firing tear gas. Additionally, several thousand troops have been deployed in the region.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the people of Assam that there was no need to worry about the new law.
“I want to assure my brothers and sisters of Assam that they have nothing to worry after the passing of #CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill),” Modi tweeted, referring to the biggest state in the north-east.
I want to assure my brothers and sisters of Assam that they have nothing to worry after the passing of #CAB.
I want to assure them- no one can take away your rights, unique identity and beautiful culture. It will continue to flourish and grow.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 12, 2019
Reportedly, the Internet services in Assam will be suspended for another 48 hours from Thursday noon.
Transport services to the region have been severely impacted as all train services to Assam and neighbouring Tripura have been suspended following protests. Several airlines too have cancelled flights to Guwahati and Dibrugarh.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zoroastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who entered India on or before December 31, 2014