Assam on the boil, curfew imposed, mobile internet suspended

Guwahati, Dec 11 (IANS) Assam was rocked by violence against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), which was passed by the Rajya Sabha by 125-105 votes on Wednesday, as protesters hit 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.
The army undertook a flag march in Dibrugarh. The controversial Bill was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha at the stroke of midnight on Monday.
On a day when lawmakers debated the CAB in the Rajya Sabha, Assam was on the boil, with protesters raising slogans against the Central and state government, and demanding unconditional withdrawal of the legislation.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal remained stuck at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International airport here for hours after landing in the state capital from Tezpur, as his convoy could not roll out due to the massive protests.
The administration tried to tackle the situation by imposing curfew from 6-15 p.m. The curfew will continue till 7 a.m. on Thursday, a senior police officer said.
Mobile internet services were suspended in 10 troubled districts — Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup districts — for 24 hours to thwart any effort to spread rumours and misinformation, while a column of army was kept on standby in Bongaigaon town.
The protests, which had started days back, intensified during the day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah tabled the legislation in the Upper House of the Parliament.
The protesters tried to march towards the state secretariat here and burnt tyres on the roads, creating a volatile situation, as the police tried to control the unrest by firing rubber bullets and lobbing tear gas shells.
At least 25 protesters — among them several students — sustained injuries in police lathi charge in the state.
At least 10 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed.

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