The indefinite curfew which was in force in Assam’s Dibrugarh municipal area following the violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill has been relaxed for five hours on Friday.
According to the reports, the curfew in Dibrugarh has been lifted from 8 am to 1 pm on Friday. However, many other towns and cities are still under indefinite curfew, including Guwahati, besides Tezpur and Dhekiajuli. Night curfew has also been imposed in Jorhat, Golaghat, Tinsukia and Charaideo districts.
Following the violent protests in the state, the Army and the security forces are conducting flag marches in Guwahati town which was the epicentre of the protests, besides Dibrugarh and Tezpur.
Meanwhile, the Army and the security forces will also be conducting flag marches in Guwahati town which was the epicentre of the protests, besides Dibrugarh and Tezpur. The Union Home Ministry on Thursday has kept around 20 additional companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) on standby to move to Assam if necessary.
Reportedly, All Assam Students Union (AASU), the prominent students’ body in Assam which is leading the protests against the Citizenship Bill, has called for hunger strike today in Chandmari area of Guwahati.
A large number of people, including artists, singers and filmstars will be observing a 10-hour fast called by the influential students’ organisation against the Citizenship Act from 6 am.
AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the protests will continue. “Our protest will be non-violent and disciplined. We will not accept the Citizenship Amendment Bill at any cost. The government might say they will give us Clause 6 – but that will not work for us. We are also appealing to people not to resort to violence,” he added.
Internet services in 10 districts have also been suspended for another 48 hours beginning 12 pm on Thursday to prevent misuse of social media to disturb the peace and to maintain law and order.
In a big relief to the Modi government, the Joint Movement against Citizenship Amendment Bill has called off their strike in Tripura on Thursday. It is an umbrella organization of all groups in Tripura who are against the CAB.
The decision to call off strikes comes after a delegation of the organisation including their convenor Anthony Debbarma and BK Hrangkhawl had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed their concerns. Home Minister Shah assured them that all their concerns would be addressed.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and by Lok Sabha on Monday. On Thursday, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 also became an act of law after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the historic legislation.
Following the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill and subsequent protests in the North-Eastern region, PM Narendra Modi on Thursday tried to assure the Northeastern states that the Citizenship Act will not hamper the spirit and interests of the region. In a series of tweets written in Assamese and English, Prime Minister Modi sent out a message of reassurance to the people of Assam.
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 12, 2019
He said that the central government is “totally committed to constitutionally safeguard the political, linguistic, cultural and land rights of the Assamese people as per the spirit of Clause 6. I want to assure my brothers and sisters of Assam that they have nothing to worry after the passing of CAB, PM Modi said.
The Citizenship Amendment act seeks to give Indian citizenship to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from three neighbouring Islamic countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh after facing religious persecution.
The Act states the refugees of the six communities will be given Indian citizenship after residing in India for five years, instead of earlier requirement of 11 years. The Act also proposes to give immunity to such refugees facing legal cases after being found as illegal migrants. The cut-off date for granting citizenship will be December 31, 2014.
The law will not be applicable to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. Further, the law will not cover the areas covered under the Inner Line Permit (ILP), notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. The ILP regime is applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram.