ANANYA SINGH | 12 DECEMBER, 2019
ULFA Chief Warns Assam Police as Citizenship Protests Escalate Despite Curfew
Massive protests in several states
NEW DELHI: In a new development the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) has stepped into the crisis in Assam over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, warning the state police against attacking students protesting against the amendments to the Citizenship Act passed by Parliament.
Speaking to reporters from an undisclosed destination, ULFA chief Paresh Baruah said, “The ULFA will not sit idle if a protesting student or any Assamese for that matter is assaulted. We appeal to Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, Director General of Assam Police, not to lathicharge people taking to streets and opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.”
TV18 has further quoted Baruah as saying, “The DGP should control his police force and not harass innocent protestors. The Assam police is our brother, they should think about every Assamese protestor who is agitating against the anti-Assamese Bill.”
The situation in the state shows no sign of easing, with the army being called in to contain the anger. The police have used teargas and lathi charged girl students, leading to stronger protests in the state. Several students have been badly injured in the police attack leading to widespread anger. Exams have been postponed in several colleges as students poured out to take part in the anti-CAB protests.
In Assam Monday
Thousands of protestors have brought life to a halt in key districts of Assam including Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Jorhat, Golaghat, Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup.
Five army columns have been deployed in Assam, each column comprising 70 personnel. Three Assam Rifles columns are also reported to have been deployed in Tripura.
The administration placed Guwahati and Dibrugarh districts under an indefinite curfew on Wednesday. A mobile internet ban has also been imposed in 10 districts of Assam for 24 hours, beginning at 7 pm on Wednesday.
However, despite the state-wide curfew many protesters continued their strike, chanting anti-CAB slogans into the night.
Transport has also taken a hit in the wake of the anti-CAB protests. All passenger trains in Tripura and Assam have been suspended and many long-distance trains were short-terminated, leaving many passengers stranded at the Guwahati and Kamakhya railway stations.
Airlines including Indigo, GoAir, SpiceJet, Vistara and Air India have cancelled flights to various cities in Assam.
In Shillong Tuesday
Despite reassuring tweets from several government officials, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) called for a protest at 11 am today in Guwahati.
In Assam clashes between protestors and security officials have reportedly turned violent. A senior police official was reported saying that the police opened fire against protesters in the Lulangaonn area of Guwahati to disperse the crowd.
The protesters were said to be hurling stones at police officials. As other attempts to disperse the crowd proved inefficient, the police opened fire, the official stated. An unknown number of protesters were injured in the clash.
Meanwhile, the Indian Union Muslim League has moved the Supreme Court against the citizenship amendments. The petitioners, including IUML leaders and MPs PK Kunhalikutty, ET Mohammed BAsheer, Abdul Wahab and K.Navas Kani have asked the Supreme Court to strike down the amendments for violating the fundamental right to equality guaranteed under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.