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CAA protests: Major leaders among 190 arrested, 136 cases filed over Assam violence

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that the curfew imposed in Assam will be relaxed only during day time while it will remain in place during the night until the situation is reviewed by the government.

SNS | New Delhi |

As many as 190 people have been arrested and 136 cases have been registered so far in connection with the violent incidents during protests in Assam against the recently amended Citizenship Act.

Assam Director General of Police (DGP) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said that those arrested were not normal democratic protesters but people who had indulged in violence, adding that some conspirators have also been arrested including some major leaders from various organizations.

At least four people have been killed in police action, the DGP informed. He said that the situation had become such that the police had to fire in order to save more people and property.

Two 17-year-old boys were among the four killed in police firing in Guwahati on Thursday during anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the city.

“The security forces did not bother with tear gas or rubber bullets and used live bullets right from the start”, a witness had claimed.

Mahanta had earlier claimed that the police acted with restraint during the agitations and took action only during extreme situations.

However, reports have stated that five people have died in the protests.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has continued to defend the Act and said that the BJP government is “committed to protect all genuine Indian citizens and the rights of the people of Assam.”

Meanwhile, the curfew imposed in Dibrugarh in the wake of major protests across the state over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, was on Tuesday relaxed from 6 am to 8 pm by the district administration.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that the curfew imposed in Assam will be relaxed only during day time while it will remain in place during the night until the situation is reviewed by the government.

Earlier on Saturday, curfew imposed in Guwahati — which has been a hotbed for violent protests against the citizenship law — was relaxed for seven hours.

The passing of the Citizenship Bill in the Parliament had plunged the northeast, especially the state of Assam, into deep chaos with locals and students hitting the streets in thousands, burning tyres and wooden logs prompting the administration to impose curfew in Guwahati and suspend mobile internet services in 10 districts of the state.

However, thousands of demonstrators defied the indefinite curfew and marched onto the streets.

To control the deteriorating law and order situation in Assam, eight columns of the Indian Army were on Thursday deployed in Assam and Tripura as per the requests made by the governments of the two states.

According to the Citizenship Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and by Lok Sabha on Tuesday.