People hit streets, defy curfew as protests rage on
Guwahati/Shillong: Sentiments ran high against the Citizenship (Amendment Bill) in Assam on Thursday as people came out on the streets despite the imposition of curfew in several parts of the state.
Three protesters were killed and many others injured in police firing in Guwahati amid a raging agitation against the CAB. A young civilian, Dipanjan Das, succumbed to bullet injuries at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. He was allegedly injured in police firing.
All trains to Assam and Tripura have been cancelled along with most flights in the region amid intensifying protests.
As the day wore on, a large number of people assembled at several places in the state capital, many holding placards and raising slogans against the emotive legislation.
An indefinite curfew has been imposed in Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Tezpur and Dhekiajuli, while night curfew is in force in Jorhat, Tinsukia, Golaghat and Charaideo districts.
Internet services in 10 districts were suspended for another 48 hours beginning 12 pm to prevent "misuse" of social media to disturb peace and tranquillity and to maintain law and order, officials said.
Guwahati City police chief Deepak Kumar was removed and Munna Prasad Gupta was appointed in his place, Commissioner and Secretary (Home and Political) Ashutosh Agnihotri said.
Guwahati resembled a garrison town with Army, paramilitary and state police personnel stationed in every nook and corner, watching helplessly, as frenzied mobs blocked roads with burning discarded tyres and menaced commuters by bludgeoning their vehicles with sticks and stones.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government on Thursday withdrew mobile Internet and messaging services across the state for the next 48 hours due to deteriorating law and order situation triggered by protests over contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, officials said. The services have been withdrawn since 5 pm on Thursday. The district administration in the state capital has also clamped curfew in areas under two police stations in view of the "serious" deterioration of law and order. Section 144 has been imposed in Shillong.
Burning and vandalisation of vehicles on Thursday afternoon led to a chaotic situation in the Police Bazaar area and in Iew Duh, resulting in the imposition of curfew in all neighbourhoods that include areas under Sadar PS and Lumdiengjri PS, District deputy commissioner M W Nongbri said.
A massive clash at Motphran in the city forced police to resort to the use of tear gas to disperse an angry mob protesting against the controversial Bill and demanded implementation of the Inner Line Permit in Meghalaya to prevent the entry of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
In Assam, Handloom minister Ranjit Dutta's house at Behali in Sonitpur was attacked on Thursday by protesters opposing the CAB. An indefinite curfew was imposed in Tezpur and Dhekiajuli towns of the district, officials said.
Crowds of protesters gathered before his house in large numbers and threw stones. However, the damage to the house was minimal.
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