‘Nothing to worry ’: PM Modi assures Assam on citizenship bill
A curfew has been enforced in Guwahati, the principal city in Assam, where the army was called in on Wednesday night after tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets against the bill.
As Assam simmered due to protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday assured the people of Assam that he and the central government are committed to constitutionally safeguard the political interests of the Assamese.
“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.
“The Central Government and I are totally committed to constitutionally safeguard the political, linguistic, cultural and land rights of the Assamese people as per the spirit of Clause 6,” he said in his second tweet.
A curfew has been enforced in Guwahati, the principal city in Assam, where the army was called in on Wednesday night after tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets against the bill, clashing with the police and paramilitary troopers.
Watch: PM Modi’s first reaction after Rajya Sabha passes Citizenship bill
Mobile Internet services were also suspended in 10 districts of Assam for 24 hours from 7pm on Wednesday. An army spokesperson said the army had deployed two columns in Tripura, one column consisting of 70 personnel.
Army has also been deployed in Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Jorhat districts, officials said.
The Centre on Wednesday also airlifted over 5,000 paramilitary personnel to northeastern states, including Assam, in the wake of the violent protests against CAB, a senior home ministry official 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, a Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson said.
At least 31 trains have either been cancelled, short terminated or diverted anticipating “disruptions in train movement,” Northeast Frontier Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Subhanan Chanda said in a statement.
Life virtually came to a grinding halt in Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Sivsagar, parts of Guwahati and in some districts of Lower Assam.
Gauhati and Dibrugarh Universities have postponed all examinations scheduled till December 14.
The bill, which seeks to fast-track Indian citizenship for members of persecuted minorities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis from the Muslim-majority nations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, was passed by Parliament on Wednesday.