Assam engulfed in smoke as protests rage on

Zamser Ali brings in developments about the anti-CAB battle that the people of Assam are fighting


For the past week, Assam has been burning with rage against the unconstitutional Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019. Thousands of protestors have taken to the streets to express their displeasure against the government’s autocratic decision to pass the CAB 2019 without the consent of the major stakeholders – the people of India.

With Section 144 imposed in Assam yesterday and mobile and internet services restricted by the government in light of the agitation, Zamser Ali, senior journalist with Sabrang India brings you the latest developments from the battleground in Assam.

At 6:15 PM, a curfew was imposed in Guwahati on December 11 as the CAB 2019 was being debated in the RajyaSabha. As the bill was passed by the Upper House of the Parliament, internet services had been shut off by the government in Guwahati and ten other districts.

The protests had taken a violent turn yesterday with the police resorting to lathi charge against the protestors and the Army being called in to quell the agitation. There was no road or street in Assam that was not occupied by the public who burnt tyres, wooden logs and other materials to express their anger against the government.

The protestors also chopped down trees on Lakhimpur highway, obstructing it so as not let paramilitary forces enter the city limits to quash the agitation.

Dibrugarh witnessed the most violence with protestors vandalizing and setting fire to properties at the Panitola and Chabua railway stations and the Chabua post office. Late last night, protestors burned down five shops in Tinsukia resulting in the death of one person who was sleeping in his shop.

Thousands of protestors gathered around CM SarbanandaSonowal’s house, stone-pelting at the premises. Sonowal who was in Tezpur was to return to Guwahati but had to wait at the airport for almost two hours in fear of being accosted by the public. The same goes for other BJP MPs and MLAs who have refused to be seen in public worrying about a backlash from the angry mob.

The curfew that was imposed in Guwahati from 6:30 PM last evening to 7 AM today has been extended indefinitely. The curfew notwithstanding, thousands of protestors have still come out to protest the CAB and have gathered in front of the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT), continuing their agitation. In FatasilAmbari a Bengali-Hindu dominated area in Guwahati, thousands of protestors burnt tyres, raised slogans and torched two light vehicles that were passing in the area. The police and protestors clashed in Thanapara, Guwahati today with the police resorting to lathi charge against the agitators. The police opened fire at protestors in Golaghat, injuring one person, after protestors clashed with the forces in the district.

The Assam police and the Army has laid siege at the Cotton University and the Handique Girls’ College so as to stop the students from spilling to the streets to protest against CAB 2019. In light of this development, the students are now continuing their protest from within the University premises. Students from other universities however, have gathered in large numbers and were seen moving to the CM’s Brahmaputra guesthouse in opposition of the CAB. They were stopped by the police, who pushed them back with brandishing lathis, thus escalating the tension in the area.

A huge number of people have come out in Dubrugarh, Lakhimpur District, Nagaon despite the Army’s presence. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) was to hold a meeting with all the artists in Assam at 11:30 AM today at LatasilAmbari but were denied permission for the same. A popular Assamese artist who was making his way to LatasilAmbari was asked to return immediately. The police are openly threatening and warning the people with lathi charge and firing in case they come out to protest.

The Union government is reportedly unhappy with the inefficiency of the Assam Police in controlling the situation and has roped in GP Singh, the former Inspector General who is now with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take stock of the law and order issue in Assam. This, after it deployed paramilitary forces in Assam and Tripura to control the raging crowd.

Assam is engulfed in smoke and fire over the BJP’s decision to make the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019 a law. With communication services hanging by a thread, Sabrang India will do its best in bringing you the latest updates from the state as it fights to protect its identity.


Anti- CAB protest continues in Assam, Quick Response Team called in Dibrugarh

Students injured, army called in as anti-CAB stir intensifies in Assam

48-hr Mobile Internet Ban as NE boils Over Citizenship Amendment Bill: Tripura



Related Articles