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Curfew relaxed in Guwahati for 7 hrs as protests against Citizenship Act abate

However, schools continue to remain shut and Internet services have been suspended across Assam till December 16, according to reports.

SNS | New Delhi |

The curfew imposed in Guwahati — which has been a hotbed for violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act — was on Saturday relaxed for seven hours at 9 am, as the situation improved in Assam.

With the prohibitory orders relaxed till 4 pm, shops and markets opened in Guwahati and some vehicles were seen plying on the roads.

However, schools continue to remain shut and Internet services have been suspended across Assam till December 16, according to reports.

People were seen lining up before shops selling essentials like food items and a large number of cars were seen outside petrol pumps for refuelling.

Meanwhile, the All Assam Students Union (AASU), which is spearheading the protests, has called a three-day mass satyagraha in all district headquarters of the state from December 16.

The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) had called a 6-hour bandh today, starting 6 am to protest against the amended Citizenship Act.

Meanwhile, authorities have rolled out measures to help out the hundreds of passengers stranded at the airport, railways stations and inter-state bus terminals due to the protests which have led to suspension of flight, train and public road transport services.

Buses would ferry the stranded passengers to various parts of the city.

At least two people have died and several injured in police firing during violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which is now law after the President’s assent.

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.

The violent protests had brought road, rail and air traffic to a standstill.

The Army conducted flag marches in Guwahati and three districts including Dibrugarh and Tezpur and the authorities extended the suspension of Internet services for another 48 hours from 12 noon on Thursday.

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.