Curfew relaxed in Guwahati, situation improving: Police

Thousands protest against CAA in Karnataka

Guwahati, Dec 15  Amid gradual improvement in the law and order situation, curfew was relaxed in Assam’s biggest city of Guwahati and in some parts of Dibrugarh for the second consecutive day on Sunday, after days of violent protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, police said.

In Guwahati, the curfew has been relaxed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., said a senior police official, adding that it has also been relaxed in some parts of Dibrugarh for around eight hours since morning.

Curfew was first lifted from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Guwahati, Dibrugarh West, Naharkatia, Tenughat and some other places on Saturday.

A Guwahati police officer said the situation was better than it was on Saturday.

“The situation is improving gradually. It is better than yesterday. I think the situation will further improve,” Guwahati Joint Commissioner of Police Debraj Upadhyay told IANS over phone.

Upadhyay said large number of security forces have been deployed to ensure there was no further violence.

“A lot of forces are there, and we are picking up miscreants, who have been identified,” Upadhyay said.

He said between Thursday and Saturday, 159 people were picked up. “Of them, 48 have been sent to jail custody, and the remaining 111 released,” Upadhyay added.

As the curfews were relaxed, long queues were seen outside shops at several places, including Dispur, Uzan Bazar, Chandmari, Silpukhuri and Zoo Road in Guwahati.

Auto and cycle-rickshaws were also plying across the city. Petrol pumps have also opened with vehicles waiting in lines to refuel.

The official said that the police are using loudspeakers to inform the public about the relaxation.

The city as well as other parts of Assam faced violent protests after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, became an Act following its passage in both the Houses of Parliament.

The Act will provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before December 31, 2014.

As per the Act, such communities will not be treated as illegal immigrants now and will be given Indian citizenship.