Anti CAB protests Spread like Wildfire in Assam; Police Ranks Reshuffled
GUWAHATI: Violent Anti-CAB protests spread across Assam like wildfire with thousands of protestors openly defying the curfew in different towns of the state including Guwahati which forced Army to come out open in the streets as police failed to yield any significant results. Spontaneous shutdowns in nearly all parts of Brahmaputra valley have brought normal life to a near standstill since the last three days.
Flight and railway services have been badly hit in the state, with several flights to and from Guwahati airport cancelled. All short distance passenger trains in NE states have been cancelled for today and tomorrow, and the long distance mail / express passenger trains to and from Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Silchar and Agartala have been short terminated and originated to and from Guwahati and Kamakhya railway stations for today and tomorrow
Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal have appealed for peace and urged the people to show restraint.
Sonowal, who has been at the receiving end of people’s wrath over the CAB issue, claimed that a section of people were spreading misinformation and trying to destabilize the state on the pretext of CAB, and reiterated the government’s commitment to protect the culture, language as well as political and land rights of the people of Assam by implementing the Assam Accord.
Indefinite curfew since yesterday continued in Guwahati and Dibrugarh, while the same was also imposed in Tezpur police station and Dhekiajuli police station areas of Sonitpur district today.
Night curfew has been imposed in Tinsukia and Jorhat towns from today.
Army has been called out in several places, including Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Tezpur and Jorhat, to conduct flag march and assist the civil administration in restoring law and order.
The 24-hour ban on internet services in 10 districts from last evening has been extended, until further orders, while all educational institutions in 11 districts have been ordered closed till December 22 next.
In Guwahati, a day after violent protests which left the city in shambles, agitators came out on the roads since early in the morning today as police tried to stop them from venturing out.
Defying curfew, hundreds of people assembled in Latasil Field, located just opposite the Latasil Police Station, in the city for a protest meet, at the call of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) and popular artist Zubeen Garg.
Spontaneous road blockades by burning tyres, trees and other materials were reported from across the city, including Six Mile, Basistha, Ganeshguri, GS Road, Chandmari, and near B Barooah College.
Security forces had to resort to using baton charge, lobbing tear gas shells and firing rubber bullets on multiple occasions in the city to disperse the protestors.
One protestor sustained bullet injury at Lalung Gaon area in the city, while many protestors also sustained minor injuries at different parts.
The convoy of the DGP also came under stone pelting at GS Road and he had to return from the spot as the protestors refused to make way.
More than 5,000 paramilitary police with two columns of the Army have been deployed and were staging flag-march in the city and other places.
In Dibrugarh and adjoining Tinsukia districts, since last evening, two railway stations have been attacked, residences of the chief minister, Union Minister Rameswar Teli, and several MLAs have been attacked, and local BJP and RSS offices vandalized and torched.
One person was killed when miscreants torched a line of shops at Sijuguri in Tinsukia last night.
Similar reports of targeting of state ministers and leaders, vandalizing of BJP-RSS offices, road blockades and protest rallies were received from other parts also, including Sivsagar, Charaideo, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Tezpur and Golaghat.
As the civil and police administration, assisted by the Army, grapple to tackle the deteriorating law and order situation with tension spreading to new areas, a major upheaval of the top police ranks were also affected today.
Senior IPS officer GP Singh, who was on deputation at the NIA, has been appointed as the new ADGP (Law and Order) with immediate effect and Singh, who rushed to Guwahati this morning, has already began taking stock of the situation.
Talking to reporters here, Singh said, "There is no need to worry. There are enough police and Army personnel. The situation should improve by today and it is my assurance."
Singh replaces Mukesh Agarwal, who has been appointed as the ADGP (Border).
The Police Commissioner of Guwahati, Deepak Kumar, has been shunted out, along with all four DCPs of the city, and Munna Prasad Gupta has been appointed in place of Kumar.
Assam has been opposing the CAB that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal Hindu, Parsi, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who had entered India prior to December 31, 2014, without any documents.
The Bill has been cleared by both Houses of the Parliament and will become law after getting nod from the President.
However, people of North Eastern states, especially Assam and Tripura, are demanding its revocation as they fear being "overrun" by non-Muslims from neighbouring Bangladesh
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