Assam Citizen Amendment Bill protest: Police took on violent protesters in Guwahati and Dispur.
Thousands of people opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB took to the streets despite a curfew in Guwahati. The army has been deployed in four areas of Assam as thousands protested on Wednesday evening, clashing with policemen and plunging the state into chaos. The controversial legislation was passed with 125 voting for it and 99 against. It was cleared by the Lok Sabha two days earlier with the support of as many as 334 MPs.
Transport services to the region has been severely impacted as all train services to Assam and neighbouring Tripura have been suspended following protests. Several airlines too have cancelled flights to Guwahati and Dibrugarh.
Trust this "sevak", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today in a fervent appeal to the Northeast. The Prime Minister was campaigning in Jharkhand when he reached out to the violence-hit northeast.
Amid the protests, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also appealed the people of the state to maintain peace. He said that the CAB is a national-level bill and the people of Assam don''t need to be afraid of it. "I appeal to the people to maintain peace and not get misled", the chief minister said.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave an assurance to the people of Assam that no one can take away their rights, unique identity and beautiful culture, amid protests in parts of the state against the Citizenship Bill.
Classes in most universities and colleges were not held as students joined the protests. Gauhati and Dibrugarh Universities have postponed all examinations scheduled till December 14.
The bill has been slammed by rights groups as well as opposition parties on the grounds that it "discriminates" against Muslim migrants and violates Article 14 of the constitution. Opposition leaders, who claim that the bill can never survive "judicial scrutiny", are expected to challenge it in the Supreme Court.
Here are the updates on the developments around the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill:
IndiGo ferries 178 passengers stranded at Dibrugarh to Kolkata
The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Thursday said 178 passengers stranded at Dibrugarh in Assam have been flown to Kolkata in an IndiGo flight.
The stranded passengers have been evacuated in a phased manner, the ministry said in a series of tweets earlier in the day.
"In a major relief for all those stranded in Dibrugarh, a @Indigo6E flight to Kolkata has departed carrying all the 178 passengers. This would not have been possible without the intervention of the local administration and the airline. Thank you everyone involved," the ministry said in a late evening tweet.
CAB has no connection to minorities in Assam: Home Ministry
The Centre on Thursday issued a statement in a bid to make the provisions of Citizenship Amendment Bill clearer for the people of Northeast. The Bill has passed the legislative test in Parliament.
The Home Minister said the Bill did not dilute the 'Assam Accord'. "The Union government is committed to implementing the Assam Accord. There is a Standing Committee in MHA to monitor implementation of the accord. The CAB does not dilute the sanctity of Assam Accord as far as the cut-off date of March 24, 1971, stipulated for detection/deportation of illegal immigrants, is concerned."
Doubts over citizenship bill not baseless: Assam Speaker
Assam Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami on Thursday said doubts expressed over the
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill are not baseless, and there is a strong possibility of it creating division if implemented.
In a statement, Goswami appealed to the Central government to take necessary steps to redress the anger and grievances of the people of Assam.
"After the passage of the bill by the Rajya Sabha yesterday, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has become an act. Though I should not comment on the Act as I am discharging Constitutional duties as Speaker, but as a person working for the nation and community through the Assam agitation, I feel that the doubt created by this act is not baseless," he said.
"There is a strong possibility of creating division among different castes, communities and languages if this act is implemented," he said.
ABSU demands steps by Centre to allay fears of tribals and indegenous people post CAB
The All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) on Thursday demanded that the Centre take immediate
steps to allay fears of tribal and indigenous people of Assam and the Northeast post the passage of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill.
The ABSU in a statement demanded that the Centre also take appropriate steps to ensure fool proof constitutional safeguards for the tribal and indigenous people of Assam and the North East to protect and preserve tribal and indigenous people's identity, language, land and rights.
Bus terminus set on fire in Assam's Dibrugarh
A bus terminus of the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) in Dibrugarh was set ablaze by protestors on Thursday, officials said.
A large number of people reached the ASTC terminus at the Chowkidingi area of the city and vandalised the complex and set it on fire, they said.
Army and fire tenders were rushed and they doused the flames without much damage, a senior district official said.
2 Dead In Police Firing In Guwahati Amid Protests Over Citizenship Bill
Two protesters were killed and many others injured in police firing in Assam's Guwahati amid a raging agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Thursday evening. The incident occurred even as thousands of protesters descended on the streets in defiance of a curfew imposed on the city after the parliament cleared the contentious legislation on Wednesday night. Earlier today, the government had extended the suspension of Internet services in 10 districts of Assam for another 48 hours, and deployed army personnel in four areas where clashes between protesters and police were witnessed.The residences of several politicians, including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Union Minister Rameswar Teli, were attacked by protesters as violence continued unabated."
Assam handloom minister's house attacked
Assam Handloom Minister Ranjit Dutta's house at Behali in Sonitpur was attacked by protestors opposing the CAB, officials said.
Crowds of protestors gathered before his house in large numbers and threw stones. However, the damage to the house was minimal as the police reached the spot on time and dispersed them, the officials said.
Indefinite curfew imposed in Tezpur, Dhekiajuli
Indefinite curfew was imposed in Tezpur and Dhekiajuli towns of the district, officials said. Night curfew has been imposed in Jorhat, Golaghat, Tinsukia and Charaideo districts, the officials said.
Indefinite curfew was imposed in Guwahati and Dibrugarh on Wednesday.
Peasant leader Akhil Gogoi arrested in Assam's Jorhat
RTI activist and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi was arrested on Thursday in Assam's Jorhat district as a preventive measure, amid violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill across the state, officials said.
A senior official of the Jorhat administration told PTI that Akhil Gogoi was taken into custody to avoid any "untoward incident" in the district, as well as other parts of the state by his supporters.
Akhil Gogoi, the adviser of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), had earlier in the day staged a sit-in outside the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner's office.
"There were around 3,000 people during the day. We did not arrest him then to avoid repercussions. After he left the scene, our teams went to arrest him. It is a preventive arrest," the official quoted above said.
Akhil Gogoi was trying to evade arrest and the teams had to search for him for a while before taking him into custody from an advocate''s residence, the official said.
Will not allow ''unconstitutional'' CAB in Punjab, says Amarinder Singh
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said his government will not allow the Bill to be implemented in Punjab.
"Terming the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) as a direct assault on India's secular character, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today said his government would not allow the legislation to be implemented in his state," the Chief Minister''s Office said.
He said that his government would not let the legislation rip apart the secular fabric of the country, whose strength lies in its diversity.
"The Parliament had no authority to pass a law that defiled the Constitution and violated its basic principles and fundamental rights of the people of India", said the Chief Minister, declaring CAB to be "null and void" on account of the fact that it was against the tenets and values contained in the Constitution.
Mobile Internet ban extended in Tripura
Suspension of mobile internet services had been extended for another 24-hours in Tripura after the 48-hour blockade ended on Thursday afternoon, officials said.
9 trains cancelled following agitation against CAB
Nine trains to and from Dibrugarh in Assam have been cancelled and partially cancelled on Thursday due to the agitation following the passing of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) by the Parliament.
According to a press release, three trains, including the Rajdhani Express travelling from Dibrugarh to New Delhi, have been cancelled, while six trains, including the Brahmaputra Mail from Delhi to Dibrugarh, have been partially cancelled.
Army columns have been deployed in Assam and Tripura to contain the growing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
CAB wont see the light of day in Kerala, says Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "Come what may, it's not going to see the light of day in Kerala".
"The CAB is absolutely undemocratic and against the basic tenants of the Constitution. For the world outside, the CAB is a shame for India. This is nothing but the agenda of the RSS to make the country a Hindu Rashtra," said Mr Vijayan.
"We will not accept it", he said, adding "it won't take shape in Kerala."
"It's quite certain that the Bill will not pass judicial scrutiny as the very essence of our secular character has been affected. When the Partition took place, lots of Muslims opted for India as they did not want to live in a religious country. The RSS is now trying to do what was done in Pakistan then. But this will be opposed," added Mr Vijayan.
Three protestors dead in Guwahati
BREAKING: Three protestors dead in police firing in Guwahati
Citizenship bill will not adversely affect Assam, will help refugees facing religious persecution: Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to PTI.
Citizenship Bill against indigenous people of Sikkim: Bhaichung Bhutia
Footballer turned politician Bhaichung Bhutia on Thursday said the Citizenship (Amendment)
Bill was against the "interest" of the indigenous people of Sikkim as well as article 371(F) of the Constitution which grants special status to the state.
Mr Bhutia, who is the working president of Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) asked the state's ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) and the opposition Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) to
explain their alliance with the BJP after the latter rejected their concerns on the Citizens Amendment Bill passed by Parliament.
The legendary footballer expressed apprehension that there will be an influx of foreigners and people from other states in the Himalayan state once the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill becomes a law.
"The future of next generation of Sikkimese people could be in danger once the CAB comes into force," the HSP leader.
He said, "Since the BJP-led government at the Centre has rejected the concerns of the SKM and SDF on the CAB and has gone ahead with getting this bill passed by the parliament, it will be interesting to know the stand of Sikkim's ruling and opposition parties as both are allies of
the BJP in NEDA," he said in a statement.
"The people of Sikkim would like to know about what steps both the parties (SKM and SDF) take on alliance with the BJP post-CAB," Mr Bhutia said.
He suggested an agitation to prevent implementation of the proposed citizenship law in Sikkim and said that that it can't be left on the state legislative assembly to prevent the enforcement of the proposed law in Sikkim.
The SKM has repeatedly expressed reservation on CAB and its supremo Prem Singh Tamang had written a letter to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah requesting the latter to keep
the tiny border state out of the purview of the proposed citizenship law.
Both MPs from Sikkim - Indra Hang Subba (Lok Sabha, SKM) and Hishey Lachungpa (Rajya Sabha, SDF) - had opposed the CAB during debate on the said bill in the two houses of the
The Sikkim Congress President Bharat Basnett has also slammed the CAB saying that it was against the interest of the Sikkimese people.
The SDF led by former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was yet to spell out its stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Assam governor appeals for calm amid violent protests
Governor Jagdish Mukhi appealed to the people to maintain peace in Assam, the hotbed of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
In a statement, Mr Mukhi urged them to maintain restraint as they have always shown patience and political maturity in the past.
"If the student community has any issues against the government they have every right to agitate but they should do it in a democratic and peaceful manner, without taking the law in their hands," he said.
Mr Mukhi said the approval of the Bill by Parliament has shown that the Centre is committed to taking remedial steps, including implementation of the Clause VI of the Assam Accord to safeguard the culture, ethos, language, along with other rights of the indigenous people.
The governor further appealed that no citizen should damage public property in the interest and development of the state.
Stones thrown at Assam police chief's convoy in Guwahati
Stones were thrown at Assam Police chief Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta's convoy on Thursday when
he was touring the city, ravaged by violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The cavalcade was on the Guwahati-Shillong Road near Christian Basti where it was attacked. Stones were thrown at several vehicles in the convoy that was on its way from the Secretariat.
The convoy had to stop several times as the entire stretch was blocked by protesters who put up wooden structures and iron barricades.
When the vehicles stopped in the Christian Basti area and security personnels were clearing the road, some protesters threw stones. No one was hurt and no damage occurred.
Assam DGP appeals to agitators to exercise restraint
Assam Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta Thursday appealed to people agitating
against the Citizenship Amendment Bill despite the indefinite curfew in the city to exercise restraint and not to take the law into their hands.
He also urged to the electronic media not to show provocative visuals or reports.
He said that many "lumpen elements" and people with political connections are trying foment disturbances in the state, where the army has been called in three districts besides the state capital.
"We do not have anything to say if the protests are democratic. But I am appealing to the people not to take the law into their hands to create disturbances," Mr Mahanta told PTI.
Papon cancels Delhi show, says his home state Assam is ''burning''
Singer Papon pulled out of a music show in Delhi, saying he would not be able to entertain fans when his home state Assam was "burning, crying and under curfew" over the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Parliament.
Papon also apologised to his fans on Twitter for the last-minute cancellation, saying he would not be able to cater to the audience in this disturbed state of mind.
"Dear Delhi, I am very sorry but I have decided not to do the concert tomorrow at ''imperfectoshor'' as planned! My home state Assam is burning, crying and under curfew! I won't be able to entertain you the way I should in my present state of mind!" the singer said.
Papon, whose real name is Angaraag Mahanta, said the state has been burdened with "illegal immigration" for decades and the people of Assam need to heard properly.
"It's painful to see the way Assam is burning! Humanity is suffering! Assam has been burdened with illegal immigration for decades! We don't deserve this! The diverse, complex mix of the Assamese culture and people and their existence needs to be understood! We need to be heard properly," he said.
The singer hoped the organisers of the event will honour the sales of the sold tickets at some other point of time.
"I know this is unfair on you as you had bought tickets and planned long ahead. I am sure the organizers will take care of that in someway and as promised I'll see you all on another day in future! I hope you will understand," Papon said.
Guwahati schools shut till December 22
BREAKING: Guwahati schools shut till December 22 after tension over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
People defy curfew, police open fire as Assam
Thousands of people defied curfew in Guwahati on Thursday and took to the streets, prompting police to open fire, even as protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill intensified in Assam.
Police said they had to open fire in Lalung Gaon area in Guwahati after stones were hurled by protestors. The agitators claimed that at least four persons were injured in the shooting.
Suspension of internet services in ten districts of the state was extended for another 48 hours, beginning 12 pm, to prevent "misuse" of social media in disturbing peace and tranquility, and to maintain law and order, an official said.
Internet services will remain suspended in Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup, Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Political department) Sanjay Krishna told PTI.
Internet services were suspended at 7 pm on Wednesday amid the protests.
We reached out to members of US Congress, other stakeholders on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill; hope they understand our position: MEA.
Protestors vandalise Asom Gana Parishad headquarters in Guwahati
Headquarters of the Asom Gana Parishad in the city's Ambari area was attacked on Thursday by
people protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, police said.
The protestors went inside the building, located on the Gopinath Bordoloi Road in the heart of the city, and smashed a few window panes and damaged the property, they said.
Several vehicles, including those of the police, parked outside the building were also vandalised, they added.
Officials said police then had to baton-charge the agitators. Several teargas shells were also lobbed.
Protestors defy curfew, AASU holds public meeting
Defying the indefinite curfew clamped on the city, thousands of people converged at
the Latasil Playground in the heart of the city on Thursday to take part in a protest meeting by All Assam Students Union (AASU), which is spearheading the agitation against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill.
Eminent litterateurs, artistes, prominent citizens, lawyers, students and common people came from all parts of the city to participate in the meeting held also by Silpi Samaj (artistes forum) and took out a protest rally against the CAB.
The indefinite curfew has been imposed in Guwahati and Dibrugarh since Wednesday evening while the Army was called in at four places, including the state capital, Dibrguarh, Tinsukia and Jorhat districts in view of the large scale violent public protests against the legislation across the state.
Dibrugarh police seek reinforcements to handle protests
The agitators protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 are primarily targeting government offices and facilities such as railway stations but the situation is under control, Dibrugarh SP Gautam Borah told IANS on Thursday.
Despite curfew was imposed since Wednesday, anti-CAB protestors in Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal's hometown Dibrugarh, continued violent protests.
Anticipating the situation to further deteriorate, Mr Borah said that the police forces are stretched thin because protestors are simultaneously striking at different locations.
"People are coming out in large numbers. We require more forces as 4,000 to 5,000 people are gathering at some places. I have spoken to my higher ups for reinforcements because these incidents are taking place at the same time in different places," said Mr Borah.
In the wake of the CAB getting the Parliament's nod on Wednesday, protests had flared up in Assam. Agitators pelted stones at the Chief Minister's home on Wednesday.
Actor and Assam BJP leader Jatin Bora resigns from the party, reports news agency ANI.
Golden age of India-Bangladesh relations: Centre
Pak should focus on protecting own minorities: Centre
Pakistan should focus on its treatment of minorities rather than commenting on India's internal matter: MEA on Imran Khan's remarks on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
"Don't have update to share": MEA on India-Japan summit
We don't have any update to share: MEA on whether India-Japan summit will take place in Guwahati from Dec 15-17.
Assam MLA's house set on fire: officials
In Assam's Chabua, MLA Binod Hazarika's residence set ablaze, vehicles torched by anti-CAB protestors, circle office also burned down: news agency PTI quoting officials.
Tripura largely normal except few stray incidents
Except for some stray incidents in three of its eight districts during the past 24 hours in Tripura, the situation was largely normal on Thursday after the agitation since Monday against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, officials said.
A senior police official said in Agartala that some elements burnt down a vehicle and a few shops in Dhalai district on Wednesday night.
"In a separate incident some anti-CAB group people burnt down few shops in Taidu in Gomati district (in southern Tripura).
"Some people tried to create disturbances at a few places in Dhalai and North Tripura districts, but alert security forces dispersed them at once," the official told IANS on condition of anonymity.
District Magistrates and Collectors of two troubled and mixed population districts - Dhalai and North Tripura -- said the situation was absolutely normal on Thursday.
TV channels cautioned against content that is likely to incite violence
The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued an advisory to private satellite TV channels to be particularly cautious about airing content that is likely to incite violence, promote "anti-national attitudes" and contain anything affecting the integrity of the nation.
The advisory was issued after some TV channels beamed footage of violent protests in the Northeast against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that was passed by Parliament on Wednesday.
On various occasions in the past, the ministry has issued advisories for private satellite TV channels to broadcast content strictly in adherence to the programme and advertising codes as prescribed in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and the rules framed thereafter, it said.
The advisory reiterated that all TV channels are advised to be particularly cautious with regard to any content that is likely to encourage or incite violence, contains anything against maintenance of law and order or promotes "anti-national attitudes".
Congress-sponsored Tripura shutdown evokes partial response
The 24-hour shutdown, called by Youth Congress to protest against the police lathicharge on their activists agitating against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) here on Wednesday, evoked partial response on Thursday.
Police detained few hundred picketers in West Tripura and Sepahijala districts.
According to Additional Director General of Police Rajiv Singh, there is no incident on Thursday in anywhere in Tripura. "Situation remained absolutely peaceful and normal," Mr Singh was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.
Presence in government offices, banks near normal while educational institutions somewhere closed and some places functioning. Shops, markets and business establishments partially opened. Most private and passenger vehicles remained off the road.
List of trains affected by Assam protests
• 12525 Kolkata - Dibrugarh Express scheduled to leave Kolkata on 11.12.2019.
• 15959 Kamrup Express scheduled to leave Howrah on 12.12.2019.
• 15942 Dibrugarh - Jhajha Express scheduled to leave Dibrugarh on 12.12.2019.
• 15941 Jhajha - Dibrugarh Express scheduled to leave Jhajha on 13.12.2019.
PARTIAL CANCELLATION OF TRAINS
• 15959 Kamrup Express departed from Howrah on 10.12.2019 will short-terminate at Guwahati.
• 15960 Kamrup Express will short-originate from Guwahati on 12 & 13.12.2019.
• 15956 Brahmaputra Mail will short-terminate at Guwahati and the corresponding down train 15955 will short-originate from Guwahati on 12.12.2019.
Government asks TV channels to not show content inciting violence
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has directed all private TV channels to be cautious in airing content which is likely to encourage or incite violence, news agency IANS reported.
The advisory came on a day when Northeast states like Assam, Tripura were witnessing violence and agitation after the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) In Parliament.
In an advisory to TV channels issued on Wednesday, the I&B Ministry said that "It is reiterated that all TV channels are advised to be particularly cautious with regard to any content which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promotes anti-national attitudes".
The advisory applies to "Any content which contains anything affecting the integrity of the nation, and ensure that no such content is telecast which is violative of these Codes".
"All private satellite TV Channels are requested to ensure strict compliance of the advisory", it added.
Thousands of protesters have descended on the streets of Guwahati. On Wedensday, the state witnessed wide scale clashes over the passage of the controversial bill, plunging the state into chaos of a magnitude unseen since the violent six-year movement by students that ended with the signing of the Assam accord.
Students'' body AASU and peasants organisation KMSS have asked people to step out of their homes. "This fight against the bill will be very long. We urge people to come out and join the protest gathering at 11 am at Latashil field in Guwahati," All Assam Students'' Union
(AASU) chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya told reporters.
Popular singer Zubeen Garg also appealed to people and the artist community to join the AASU-led programme. Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) advisor Akhil Gogoi said "We request people to come out of their home and protest against this communal legislation. We appeal to people not to damage public property."
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal to represent Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Supreme Court. IUML in its petition has requested the Supreme Court to declare Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as illegal and void.
"No One Can Take Away Your Rights": PM Modi
The government is committed to protecting the rights of the Assamese people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, a day after the state witnessed violent protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which was cleared by parliament late on Wednesday. "I want to assure them- no one can take away your rights, unique identity and beautiful culture. It will continue to flourish and grow," PM Modi tweeted. The contentious bill passed parliament last evening after being cleared by the Rajya Sabha with 125 voting for it and 99 against.
All Assam Student's Union has called for a protest at 11 am in Guwahati, new agency PTI reports.
While five Army columns have been deployed in Assam, three columns have been stationed in Tripura, sources in the Army told NDTV.
News agency PTI, quoting Army PRO Lt Col P Khongsai, reported that two Army columns have been deployed in Guwahati city and are carrying out flag marches. Army has also been deployed in Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Jorhat districts, officials said.
The bill discriminates against Muslim migrants, violates right to equality, Opposition parties say
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was introduced in both Houses by Home Minister Amit Shah. The controversial bill has been slammed by rights groups as well as opposition parties on the grounds that it discriminates against Muslim migrants and violates the constitutional right to equality. Opposition leaders claim that the bill can never survive judicial scrutiny and are expected to challenge it in the Supreme Court.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed parliament on Wednesday after being cleared by the Rajya Sabha with 125 voting for it and 99 against, amid violent protests in several parts of the Northeast. The controversial legislation was cleared by the Lok Sabha two days earlier with the support of 334 MPs in the house where the government enjoys a brute majority. The ruling BJP does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha but managed the numbers needed to pass the bill.