Assam govt lifts curfew in Guwahati, resumes broadband services after days of protests over amended citizenship law
Authorities lifted curfew in Guwahati on Tuesday morning following days of violent protests in Assam over the amended citizenship act and restored broadband services in the entire state.
Jitendra Singh, Union minister for the northeast, tweeted about the decisions in the morning.
Curfew was also relaxed in Dibrugarh district from 6am to 8pm, news agency ANI reported.
The decision to lift curfew in Guwahati, Assam’s main city, came after the state government reviewed the law-and-order situation in the state on Monday. The meeting was chaired by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
“The meeting decided to lift curfew completely in Guwahati from 6 am tomorrow (Tuesday). The meeting also decided to resume operation of broadband internet services in entire state from tomorrow morning,” said a statement issued by the chief minister’s office had said on Monday.
Assam’s director general of police Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta said the situation was better in the state, where four people were killed in violence during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the last one week.
“Four people have been killed in police action unfortunately. Situation had become such that the police had to fire in order to save more people and property,” Mahanta said.
“Things are much better now. We have arrested 190 persons so far. A Special Investigation Team is being formed which will investigate all aspects (of the violence),” he said.
Four people were killed in Guwahati after being hit by bullets allegedly fired by the security forces as thousands of protesters took to the streets amid a curfew. The city saw multiple cases of violence and vandalism as protestors clashed with security forces.
Senior state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the state police have registered 136 cases in connection with last week’s violence.
Sarma said the number of persons arrested may go up as the state government has taken incidents of violence on December 10 and December 11 very seriously and plans to investigate it through a high-level probe.
Sarma mentioned two instances of violence, the vandalism at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, a cultural centre in Guwahati, and the incident on the road outside the Assam Secretariat.
“We have witnessed a pattern,” Sarma said referring to the two incidents.
The state minister said the government has information about the involvement of 24 people in the violence at Kalakshetra.
“As per the police, one Zubair Anam was leading the mob,” Sarma said adding that Anam is associated with a political party and efforts are on to arrest him.
Sarma said many from outside Guwahati, Barpeta, Goalpara and Nalbari districts have been arrested for their alleged role in the violence.