Protest against CAA continues, state employees to go for cease work on Dec 18

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Curfew relaxed in Guwahati, Dibrugarh for 7-hours, internet services suspended till Dec 16

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Dec 14: Protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 continued in different parts of the state for the sixth day on Saturday.

Internet services across the state will remain suspended till December 16 to prevent alleged misuse of social media in disturbing peace and to maintain law and order in the state, additional chief secretary (home and political department) Sanjay Krishna informed here.

Pro-talk ULFA leader Jiten Dutta was arrested by the police from his residence at Borbill in Tinsukia district on Saturday evening. In Guwahati, the students of the Cotton College have been asked to vacate their hostels immediately in view of the protest.

Employees of the Assam government on Saturday announced that they will go for cease work on December 18 in protest against the amended Citizenship Act.

Sadou Asam Karmachari Parishad (SAKP) President Basab Kalita told media that all employees of the state government across Assam will not attend offices on December 18.

“We have opposed the Bill since the beginning and will continue to do so till the Act is revoked,” he said.

When members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) came to the state in May last year to take opinion of the people of Assam on the Bill, the SAKP had submitted a memorandum raising objections, Kalita said.

“We have also extended our support to the AASU in its three-day ‘Satyagraha’ from December 16,” he added.

In Jorhat, night curfew has been relaxed from 6 pm to 6 am and will be from 10 pm to 5 am from on Saturday until further orders from the district administration. More than 30 organisations led by AASU, AJYCP, artistes, lawyers and others continued their protest against CAA with a sit in demo in front of the DC office complex here.

However, several shops and the vegetable market which had opened witnessed brisk and profitable sales. Paramilitary forces patrolled the main thoroughfares and were posted in strength at the trouble spots like Baruah Chariali and NH 37 bypass section.

A group of people belonging to Shankardev Sangha along with gayan bayan also joined the protest.

In Sivasagar, a sea of people came assembled at Boarding Field to protest against the act.

Addressing the meeting, noted “mukha” artist Reba Kanta urged all section of the people to be united against the Act. Sahityacharjya Nahendra Padun, principal of Sivasagar Girls College Buddhin Mishra, AASU leader Sarat Hazarika, former Sivasagar BJP president Suresh Saikia, took part in the meeting.

Scores of people gathered at Jantar Mantar on Saturday to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. People from all walks of life came out in solidarity with those opposing the new law. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has closed entry and exit gates at Janpath metro station in view of the protest.

Under the new law, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

The curfew, imposed in Guwahati and Dibrugarh town amid violent protests against the CAA was relaxed on Saturday for a few hours, officials said.

Guwahati, however, is limping back to normalcy as the curfew was relaxed from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday. Long queues outside shops were seen at several places of Guwahati including Dispur, Uzan Bazar, Chandmari, Silpukhuri, Anuradha, Narengi, Hatigaon, Zoo Road. Petrol pumps in Guwahati were also opened with vehicles waiting in queues to refuel. Schools and offices, however, remained closed and the movement of public conveyance was minimal.

Mobile internet services remained banned in most districts of the state since Assam. The Guwahati Municipality Corporation (GMC) workers were also seen cleaning and sweeping streets, which were left full of ashes and debris.

Assam Director General of Police (DGP) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta on Saturday informed over 1000 persons were detained of which 65 were arrested for their alleged involvement in the violent protests.

“Situation is under control and we have deployed additional forces to control the law and order situation of the state,” he added.

“Be careful of harmful elements and don’t let them allow hijack the agitation,” Mahanta appealed to the agitators. Mahanta further informed that curfew in Dibrugarh has been relaxed from 8 am to 2 pm.

“The future of our motherland is being threatened and we have to protect it from dangers which may arise due to the implementation of the Act,” said a protesting student of a city college here.

AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya retorted, “We are on a mission to ensure the revocation of the amended Citizenship Act. This is our traditional war cry which we will continue to chant till our demand is fulfilled.”

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