Curfew relaxed in Guwahati for 9 hrs as protests against citizenship law ebb
There have been no large disturbances in Assam since Thursday but mobile internet services still remain suspended across much of the state.Updated: Dec 14, 2019 11:24 IST
The curfew in Assam’s Guwahati, amid protests against the new citizenship law, was relaxed for seven hours on Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm, police said according to PTI.
Citizens thronged shops to buy supplies and motorists queued up at fuel stations to fill up tanks before the curfew resumes shortly before sunset.
Auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws were plying across the city but buses were off the roads. Mobile internet services still remain suspended across much of the state .
A police spokesperson said police are using loudspeakers to inform the public about the curfew relaxation.
Offices and educational institutions continue to remain shut in the Northeast’s largest city which remained relatively peaceful.
Curfew was first imposed in Guwahati Wednesday evening as a massive backlash by studenst and ordinary people following the Parliament clearing the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, degenerated into violent protests at several places in the city with protesters fighting pitched battles with the police.
The disturbances also forced the administration to deploy army columns to restore peace in the city.
On Friday, people defied the curfew and gathered at the Chandmari field in Guwahati to take part in a 10-hour mass hunger strike against the new law.
The hunger strike was called by the All Assam Students Union (AASU) as part of its protests against the law.
The AASU and the Assamese-speaking people have accused the Centre and the state government of betraying the interests of the people of Assam and insists that there is no question of accepting the law. The violence has forced the postponement of a summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe that was to be held in Guwahati from December 15 to 17.
On Friday, the AASU filed a petition in Supreme Court challenging the amended Citizenship Act, its chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said.
The police have detained close to 300 people in Assam following the protests. On Thursday night, several leaders of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, including its patron, Akhil Gogoi, was detained as a preventive measure.