Assam unrest hits train services, railways plans to deploy commando unit CORAS
There is a complete suspension of rail services in Tinsukhia, Lumding and major part of Rangiya division of the Northeast Frontier Railways.Updated: Dec 12, 2019 12:38 IST
All passenger train operations in Assam, Tripura and Mizoram have been suspended due to major protests in the region over the passage of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Wednesday.
Amid violent protests in the Northeast, the contentious bill was cleared by the Rajya Sabha last evening with 125 voting for it and 99 against.
Several long-distance trains from other parts of the country are being terminated at Guwahati, officials at the ministry of railways informed.
Three major long-distance trains have also been cancelled, namely Sikkim Sundari Express from Anand Vihar in New Delhi to Agartala in Tripura, Dibrugarh Rajdhani from Dibrugarh town in Assam to New Delhi and Dibrugarh-Chandigarh Express.
There is a complete suspension of rail services in Tinsukhia, Lumding and major part of Rangiya division of the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR). Beyond Guwahati too, passenger train operation is stopped. From Delhi and other parts of country trains going towards Assam will return from Guwahati itself. Some of the trains whose linked rakes could not be returned from NFR will stand cancelled from Delhi and other parts of country,” a spokesperson for NFR railways said.
A railway station in Dibrugarh’s Chabua, the hometown of the chief minister, was set on fire by protesters late in the night. The Panitola railway station in Tinsukia district was also torched on Wednesday.
The railways also plans to deploy a special unit - Commandos for Railway Security (CORAS) - across sensitive areas in the region, a senior railways ministry official said.
This comes at a time when the armed forces are patrolling the streets of Assam as thousands of protesters opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB took to the streets last evening, clashing with policemen and plunging the state into chaos.
Amid the simmering protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the people of Assam that he and the central government are committed to constitutionally safeguard the political interests of the state.
“I want to assure my brothers and sisters of Assam that they have nothing to worry after the passing of #CAB. I want to assure them - no one can take away your rights, unique identity and beautiful culture. It will continue to flourish and grow,” he said on Twitter on Thursday morning.