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Citizenship Bill Protests LIVE: 2 Die in Guwahati as Police Fire on Protesters, Curfew and Internet Ban in Shillong

News18.com | December 12, 2019, 10:58 PM IST
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Citizenship Bill Protests LIVE Updates: At least two persons died due to bullet injuries on Thursday after police opened fire on protesters in Assam's Guwahati, officials said. An official of the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital told PTI that one person was "brought dead" and another succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment. The official, however, could not give their names, saying that "they were brought unidentified".

The violent protests also spread to Meghalaya's capital Shillong on Thursday, a day after the Rajya Sabha passed the contentious bill. The administration has imposed a curfew in the city and has also shut down mobile internet for 48 hours.
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Dec 12, 2019 10:58 pm (IST)

IndiGo Ferries 178 Passengers to Kolkata | The Ministry of Civil Aviationsaid 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.

Dec 12, 2019 9:31 pm (IST)

Centre Must Allay Fears of Tribals: ABSU | The All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) demanded that the Centre take immediate steps to allay fears of tribal and indigenous people of Assam and the North East post the passage of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill. ABSU president Pramod Giri appealed to the central and Assam governments to find an amicable solution by taking all stakeholders into confidence and through the process of dialogue before it is "too late". "We will not acknowledge any move which destroys language, identity and culture of the tribal and indigenous communities of Assam and North East India," he said.

Dec 12, 2019 9:28 pm (IST)

CAB Has Possibility of Creating Division: Assam Speaker | Doubts over Citizenship Amendment Bill are not baseless, there is a strong possibility of it creating division, said Assam Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami.

Dec 12, 2019 9:18 pm (IST)

Kerala Students Protest CAB | Hundreds of students of Farook college in Kozhikode took out a long march against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill here and burnt the effigy of Home minister, Amit Shah. Raising slogans against the BJP-led NDA government at the centre and holding placards saying "Boycott CAB", "Reject CAB" and "NRC Murdabad", the students, also burnt copies of the Bill.

Dec 12, 2019 9:11 pm (IST)

Modi, Shah Should Tell if They Want to Create Hindu Nation: Gehlot | Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot said Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are not concerned about the unrest in the Northeast. "There is a furore in the entire country over the manner in which the Bill was passed. Modi and Amit Shah want to suppress it by giving statements in the media," Gehlot alleged. "The northeast is burning, protests are taking place, forces are being deployed, an IPS officer has resigned. The situation which is developing in the country is not good," Gehlot said. "They must tell the nation what they want. If they want to create a Hindu nation then they should speak openly. It should be known what their intentions are," he said.

Dec 12, 2019 8:39 pm (IST)

RTI Activist Akhil Gogoi Arrested | RTI activist and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi arrested in Assam's Jorhat district, an official said. Protests over the CAB have been mounting in he state, leading to curfews in several areas, including Jorhat.

Dec 12, 2019 8:34 pm (IST)

Tripura Delegation Meets HM | A delegation from Tripura of Joint Movement Against Citizenship Amendment Bill met Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed their concerns over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. They were assured by Shah that their concerns would be addressed.

Dec 12, 2019 8:29 pm (IST)

Meghalaya CM Postpones Meeting wih HM | Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma postponed a scheduled meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah as his cabinet colleagues failed to reach the Guwahati Airport to board a plane to Delhi, amid curfew and violent protests in the neighbouring state.

Dec 12, 2019 8:27 pm (IST)

Curfews Declared in Assam's Towns | Indefinite curfew imposed in Assam's Tezpur and Dhekiajuli towns, while night curfew is in place in Jorhat, Golaghat, Tinsukia, Charaideo districts.

Dec 12, 2019 8:21 pm (IST)

Assam Bus Terminus Set on Fire | A bus terminus of the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) in Dibrugarh was set ablaze by protestors, officials said. Army and fire tenders were rushed and they doused the flames without much damage, a senior district official said.

Dec 12, 2019 8:14 pm (IST)

BJP Leaders Visit Pak Refugees | Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari met Pakistani Hindu refugees in north Delhi's Majnu-ka-tilla area, and accused the opposition of spreading rumours that the bill is against Muslims living in the country. "It is not against the Muslims living in the country. It is a human bill that will alleviate the pain of around one crore minorities from neighbouring countries who have taken refuge in India," he said. Party leaders celebrated the birth of a girl at a refugee camp on Wednesday, when the bill was passed in Parliament, and named her Nagarikta."With the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, a wave of happiness can be seen at Hindu refugee camps," Senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel said.

Dec 12, 2019 8:10 pm (IST)

Protests in MP Over CAB | Members of the Madhya Pradesh Democratic Rights Forum (MPDRF) burnt copies of the Citizenship bill at Board Office square in Bhopal and chanted slogans against the legislation approved by Parliament. "The bill is unconstitutional and communal, MPDRF coordinator Vijay Kumar said. We also burnt copies of the CAB, which we downloaded from a site, after putting them in a carton, he added. Kumar alleged the provisions of the bill were against the secular values of the Constitution and an insult to its makers. "We demand that the central government immediately withdraw the bill in the interest of the Constitution," the MPDRF functionary added.

Dec 12, 2019 7:56 pm (IST)

Bank Branch Set on Fire in Chabua | Protesters set a bank branch on fire in Chabua in Assam's Dibrugarh district hours after an MLA's house was set ablaze here. 

Dec 12, 2019 7:46 pm (IST)

Death Toll Rises to 2 in Assam | Two persons, protesting against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, die of bullet injuries at Gauhati Medical College and Hospita, officials said. An official of the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital told PTI that one person was "brought dead" and another succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment. The official, however, could not give their names, saying that "they were brought unidentified". The state has been on edge as thousands of angry protesters came out on streets defying curfew, thumbing their nose at Army contingents staging flag marches, and clashing
with police across cities.

Dec 12, 2019 7:42 pm (IST)

People in Assam Need Not Worry About CAB: CM | Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in a video appeal to the people of the state said that they need not worry about the Citizenship Amendment Bill as their traditional culture, language, political and land rights will be protected by implementing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. "I firmly believe that the sensible people of Assam will never believe in the misinformations as they are generally peace-loving people ... We condemn those who are spreading misinformation and disturbing the peace of the state," he said.

Dec 12, 2019 7:19 pm (IST)

No CAB for Punjab: Amarinder Singh | The Citizenship Amendment Bill will not be iunplemented in Punjab, CM Amarinder Singh said.“How can you leave out a large section of the Indian population from the protection they have been getting since we declared India a “sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens justice, equality and liberty…”, asked Captain Amarinder Singh. “What if other countries, where Indians are settled in large numbers and have acquired their citizenship, decide to bring in similar legislations? What will happen to those Indians if the countries of their stay decide to withdraw their citizenship on account of their religious beliefs?” he asked.

Dec 12, 2019 7:15 pm (IST)

Internet Blocked, Curfew Declared in Shillong | Internet services were blocked in Meghalaya and a curfew has been imposed in certain parts of Shillong from 10pm tonight. SMS services and mobile internet services were curbed from 5 pm today.

Dec 12, 2019 6:57 pm (IST)

Injured Protester Dies in Assam | A protester injured in police firing in Assam's Kamrup dies after succumbing to his injuries in hospital. Ramen Talukdar, superintendent of Gauhati Medical College Hospital in Assam's main city, said five protesters had been brought in with bullet injuries to the hospital and one of them had died.

Dec 12, 2019 6:40 pm (IST)

Protests Against CAB at India Gate | A group of protesters gathered at the India Gate in New Delhi protesting against the "divisive" Citizenship Amendment Bill which passed the Rajya Sabha hurdle. The protesters raised anti-BJP and anti-government slogans and asked the President not to sign the Bill into a law. The police appealed the playcard-carrying protesters to disperse but to no avail.

Dec 12, 2019 6:33 pm (IST)

Kerala Will Not Implement CAB: Vijayan | Kerala will not implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, says chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He adds that there is no place for any unconstitutional law in Kerala. In a tweet he had said, "It's a rejection of secularism. BJP has made it clear that their main political plank is communalism. We must resist."

Dec 12, 2019 6:15 pm (IST)

"We reached out to members of US Congress, other stakeholders on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill; hope they understand our position," says MEA.

Dec 12, 2019 6:06 pm (IST)

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan condemns passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill:

Dec 12, 2019 6:03 pm (IST)

Assam Guv Appeals for Calm | "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," Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi said. He 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.

Dec 12, 2019 5:39 pm (IST)

Presidency University students stage protests over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Kolkata.

Dec 12, 2019 5:30 pm (IST)

Assamese singer Papon cancels Delhi show, saying that his home state is 'burning' as protests continue in his home state over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Dec 12, 2019 5:26 pm (IST)

Stones Thrown at Assam DGP's Convoy | Stones thrown at Assam police chief Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta's convoy on GS Road in Guwahati. Earlier an Assam MLA's house was set on fire, while several incidents of vandalism were reported.

Dec 12, 2019 5:23 pm (IST)

"We condemn yesterday's lathicharge on students by a government whose chief minister (Sonowal) was once the president of the AASU," AASU  chief advisor Sammujjal Bhattacharya asserted. Stating that "extreme injustice" has been done to the people of Assam by the BJP government at the Centre, he said the AASU will not tolerate it. "The identity and existence of the indigenous people must be protected at any cost for all times," he said. Attacking AGP, Bhattacharya said "The party's leaders had once as AASU leaders spearheaded the anti-foreigners stir in Assam. But now they have betrayed the people in their lust for power," he said.

Dec 12, 2019 5:22 pm (IST)

AASU Holds Public Meeting | Addressing the meeting, AASU chief advisor Sammujjal Bhattacharya lambasted Narendra Modi and CM Sarbananda Sonowal for the "ultimate betrayal" of the Assamese people by ensuring the passage of the Bill in Parliament. He also hit out at Asom Gana Parishad, BJP's alliance partner in th state, for "stabbing the people of Assam in the back" as its sole MP in Rajya Sabha Birendra Prasad Baishya had voted in favour of the bill. "Sonowal should not forget that he has reached the chief minister's chair from the AASU platform and his bowing to the powers in Delhi will not be tolerated either by the students or the people of Assam," Bhattacharya said.

Dec 12, 2019 5:13 pm (IST)

Assam Schools Shut | All schools in Assam will remain closed till December 22 in view of the prevailing protests over the passage of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Railway services in the states of Assam and Tripura have taken a hit, with even Guwahati airport swarming with stranded passengers as several flights also stand cancelled.

Dec 12, 2019 5:07 pm (IST)

Himanta Sarma on CAB | "This bill will help various refugees who came because of religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will get citizenship. Of course there is some resentment in Assam but I am sure that this bill will not have an adverse effect," Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said. He further said Home Minister Amit Shah has promised the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord will pave way for new hope of political stability in the state. "...implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord which promised by Home Minister Amit Shah will create a new hope of political stability in Assam. So I believe that there will be no long term political fallout," he said.  

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Citizenship Bill Protests LIVE: 2 Die in Guwahati as Police Fire on Protesters, Curfew and Internet Ban in Shillong
A man walks past damaged vehicles that were set on fire by demonstrators, during a protest after India's parliament passed Citizenship Amendment Bill, in Guwahati, December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Anuwar Hazarika

In Guwahati, thousands defied the curfew and took to the streets, prompting police to open fire. Police said they had to open fire in Lalung Gaon area in Guwahati after stones were hurled by protestors. The agitators said at least four persons were injured in the shooting. The protesters attacked the headquarters of the Asom Gana Parishad in Guwahati's Ambari area and vandalised the vehicles parked outside. The residence of a BJP MLA in the capital city was also set ablaze. Protests also intensified in Tripura, where the Army conducted peace marches.

The Railways has also suspended all local train services in Tripura and Assam, and short-terminated long-distance trains at Guwahati following protests in the two states over the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament, a railway spokesperson said today.

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.

To tackle the situations, the government also made a slew of changes in the state's police ranks. Guwahati Police commissioner Deepak Kumar was removed and Munna Prasad Gupta was appointed in his place. Additional director general of police (law and order) Mukesh Agarwal was transferred as ADGP (CID) and GP Singh was given his charge.

Police had to fire in the air in several areas of the city, including the Guwahati-Shillong Road which turned into a war zone as protestors vandalised shops and buildings, burnt tyres and clashed with security forces. Students' body AASU called for a mega gathering at Latashil playground in the city, which was attended by hundreds of people. Notwithstanding the restrictions, several prominent personalities from the film and music industry, including icon Zueen Garg, joined the meet along with college and university students.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal have betrayed the people of Assam by ensuring passage of the Bill," AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said at the gathering, which was supported by the Shilpi Samaj.

Leaders of the AASU and the North East Students' Organization (NESO) said they will observe December 12 as 'Black Day' every year in protest against the passage of the Bill in Parliament. In Dibrugarh's Chabua, the hometown of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, local MLA Binod Hazarika's residence was set on fire. Vehicles parked in the building that also houses his office were torched by the protestors as well, an official said.

The circle office in the town was also burned down by them, he said.

Kamrup district witnessed an absolute shutdown with offices, schools and colleges closed for the day. Shops were also shut, with no transport plying as all major roads, including the NH 31, being blocked. Police said they had to fire three rounds in the air in Rangia town as protestors threw stones and burnt tyres. Agitators were also baton-charged at several places in the town.

Curfew from 6 pm to 6 am was imposed in Jorhat district to prevent vandalism at night, deputy commissioner Roshni Korati said. Police also fired in the air in Golaghat district to disperse protesters who blocked the NH 39, officials said. Tea garden workers stopped work in Lakhimpur and Charaideo districts and also at Numaligarh in Golaghat district and some areas in Tinsukia district.
All educational institutions across the state are closed. Five columns of the Army have been deployed in different parts of the state and are conducting flag marches in Guwahati, Tinsukia, Jorhat and Dibrugarh, the officials said.

Several flights and trains to and from Assam have also been cancelled. Hundreds of passengers remained stranded at the Guwahati airport due to the curfew. From students to working professionals and old men to young women, people were seen squatting inside and outside the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International airport at Borjhar area, about 30 km from the main city.
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