Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan who was to visit Guwahati between December 15 and 117 for a summit that would also see PM Modi present, has cancelled his trip to the city in the wake of a deteriorating security situation and public protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019.
The discontent of the people of Assam with the BJP has taken a new turn, especially after the CAB 2019 had been assented to by President Ram Nath Kovind yesterday and made a law. Their protest has taken renewed vigor and people are defying the curfew, coming out in huge numbers against the same. Without caring for the curfew, the police warnings or impending danger to their own lives they are continuing their agitation against the ruling BJP government and its policies.
The curfew was relaxed in Dibrugarh for five hours from 8 AM to 1 PM on Friday, it continues to be imposed in several other regions of the state.
At the call of AASU and the artists’ association, thousands of people have gathered at the Chandmari playground for an indefinite hunger strike against the CAB. Agitations have also continued in areas like Basistha Chariali, Thanapara and several other areas in Guwahati, notwithstanding the curfew.
Owing to the curfew, the availability of daily essentials has taken a hit. There are no vegetable vendors on the roads and all shots and market places have been closed down. Schools, colleges and offices are still indefinitely shut. Petrol pumps and ATM machines face closure and Assam has been pushed into a state of a complete lockdown.
As of yesterday, there have been three casualties – a youth was killed in Lachit Nagar, a woman lost her life in Hatigaon and another man from Basistha Chariali lost his life; all due to indiscriminate firing by the police. More than 50 persons have been injured in Guwahati itself, with 25 people having been admitted in a critical condition at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital for treatment.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader Akhil Gogoi had been arrested from a house in Jorhat on Thursday evening and is currently being kept under preventive custody on the charge of inciting people to join the protest.
Assam’s neighbour, Meghalaya too has come to a halt after heavy police firing in Shillong yesterday and all internet and SMS services in the state have been suspended for 48 hours. All the petrol pumps in Shillong too have been closed down.
Movement has been completely restricted in both the states.
The anti-CAB protests in Assam have been going on for days now and the Army has taken over to maintain the law and order situation in the state. Many people have lost their lives and several have been injured in this fight to protect the identity of the Assamese people.
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