A curfew was imposed in Guwahati, Assam, where the army was called in on Wednesday night after thousands of protestors took to the streets against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, clashing with the police and paramilitary troopers, as protests had a lift in the northeast
Mobile Internet services were also suspended in 10 districts of Assam, the epicentre of the anti-CAB protests, for 24 hours from 7 pm on Wednesday. An army spokesperson said the army had deployed two columns in Tripura, one column consisting of 70 personnel.
An army spokesperson in Guwahati said two columns of the Army had been deployed in the city and will be performing a flag march. Earlier in the day, the spokesperson said three Army columns, two for Tripura and one for Assam had been requisitioned.
The Centre on Wednesday also airlifted over 5,000 paramilitary personnel to northeastern states, including Assam, in accordance to the violent protests against CAB, a senior home ministry official said.
The curfew was clamped in Guwahati after protests of a scale reminiscent of those that took place during the six-year movement against illegal immigrants in the state that ended with the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985.
Post-noon, as the contentious bill was tabled in Rajya Sabha, the roads of Guwahati started filling up with protestors. Hundreds of protestors including students marched to Janata Bhawan, the Assam secretariat, chanting slogans against CAB and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Hundreds gathered spontaneously at several other places in the city and blocked roads with burning tyres.
A motorcycle rally was organised against the CAB in chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s hometown, Chabua. Gauhati University, Cotton University and Dibrugarh University had to postpone examinations scheduled for Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in Tripura the internet shutdown continued amid clashes between anti-CAB protesters and security forces.
Additional director general of police Rajiv Singh said clash took place in Ambassa, Kamalpur of Dhalai, and Teliamura of Khowai, among other places. Singh said the situation was under control.
Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb appealed to all parties to maintain peace.