Citizenship Act Protests: 6 killed in Assam, CM says committed to protect all 'genuine citizens'
Guwahati, Dec 15: Assam, which was the epicentre of the protests against the amended Citizenship Act over the past week, and other north eastern states largely remained peaceful on Sunday morning.
While curfew in Guwahati and parts of Dibrugarh district was relaxed on Sunday, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal released a video message, saying the state government is committed to protect all "genuine Indian citizens".
Taking to Twitter, he wrote,"We are committed to protect all genuine Indian citizens and the rights of the people of Assam".
We are committed to protect all genuine Indian citizens and the rights of the people of Assam.— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) December 15, 2019
I call upon all sections of the society to thwart the elements who are misleading the people on #CAA & indulging in violence and together continue the growth journey of Assam. pic.twitter.com/RTGeWO2QCI
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will lead a team to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah very soon to discuss the ongoing protests in the state against the amended Citizenship Act.
Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on Saturday said the decision to brief the prime minister and the union home minister on the situation was taken at a meeting of BJP MLAs and MPs here.
The team will meet the two leaders "very soon" to apprise them of the present situation in the state, Patowary said in a statement. "Today's meeting also appealed to the people to maintain peace and order in the state," he said. Sonowal tweeted that he discussed "the present situation in Assam in a meeting with my Cabinet colleagues, union minister Shri Rameshwar Teli, MPs, MLAs & @BJP4Assam president Shri @RanjeetkrDass in Guwahati".
Assam is witnessing one of the worst violent protests by the public in its history with three rail stations, a post office, a bank, a bus terminus, shops, dozens of vehicles and other public properties being set ablaze or ransacked.
After the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday night, the state erupted in protests, in which agitators fought pitched battles with the police in almost every major city or town, forcing the administration to impose curfew. With two more casualties in Assam, the death toll in the ongoing stir against the amended citizenship act has reached six.
Meanwhile, Assam Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said that 85 people have been arrested in the protests against the amended law. "Incidents of stone-pelting, setting vehicles on fire and attacking life and property have been videographed," Mahanta says, according to PTI. "We will identify the persons involved and take action against them."
The administration of Jamia Milia Islamia University clarifies that a large group of locals were part of the protests against the amended law. "Demonstration was not held in university campus nor was it protest of Jamia," the varsity's Public Relations Officer Ahmad Azeem tells ANI. "We held talks with students, now they are protesting peacefully."