Guwahati: In Guwahati, where an indefinite curfew was imposed, the administration has snapped broadband internet services as anti-Citizenship Amendment Bill protests in Assam intensified. Two protesters succumbed to bullet injuries at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. Officials confirmed both of them were shot at, in two separate parts of the city.
Meanwhile, an indefinite curfew was imposed in Meghalaya’s Shillong on Thursday, with immediate effect. The areas where the curfew is imposed include Jaiaw, Mawkhar, Umsohsun, Riatsamthiah, Wahingdoh, Mission, Mawprem, Lumdiengjri, Lamavilla, Qualapatty, Wahthapbru, Sunny Hill, Cantonment, Boucher Road, Mawlong Hat, Police Bazar, Jail Road, Keating Road, and Polo. On the other hand, mobile internet and messaging services were also withdrawn in Meghalaya for 48 hours.
While mobile internet services remain suspended in 10 districts of Assam, Guwahati, the epicentre of the protests, is under indefinite curfew. Army has been deployed in Assam and Tripura, and railway and air traffic are severely hit. On Thursday, Assam BJP MLA Binod Hazarika’s house was set ablaze by protesters in Chabua, PTI reported. The protesters also burned down a circle office, according to PTI, even as Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal appealed for peace and urged people to “not get misled” on the Bill. In Guwahati’s Lalung Gaon, police opened fire at protesters, injuring at least four people.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians — it leaves out Muslims — who entered the country from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan by December 31, 2014. While most Northeastern states are exempt from the Citizenship Amendment Bill due to the Inner Line Permit System and/or the sixth Schedule of the Constitution, Assam, and parts of Tripura, are protected by neither.