Curfew lifted in Guwahati, broadband Net restored

GUWAHATI:

The administration here on Tuesday lifted curfew and restored the broadband internet services in the state capital as the situation improved in Assam, which was on the boil over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

After violent protests against the CAA, curfew was imposed in Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tinsukia and a few other cities on December 11 and the army was deployed.

"The decision to lift the curfew in Guwahati was taken at a law and order review meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, on Monday. In Dibrugarh, the curfew has been relaxed for 14 hours from 6 a.m. on Tuesday," said an Assam Home Department official.

The situation would be reviewed later in the evening, the official added.

Though the landline-based internet services has been restored, suspension of mobile internet would continue till 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

According to a senior police official, offices, banks and business establishments remained open, and vehicles plied normally in all major cities and towns. Schools will remain closed at a few places in the state, including Kamrup Metro, till December 22.

Narayan Chandra Paul, Deputy General Manager of the State Bank of India here, said around 80 per cent ATMs were functioning. All ATMs would start functioning within two-three days, he added.

Subhanan Chanda, Chief Public Relations Officer of the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR), said efforts were being made to normalise the train services. He said 11 local passenger and inter-city trains were running within Assam on Tuesday.

The NFR CPRO said said all trains going towards Eastern Railway zone had been cancelled till the situation improved in West Bengal. The NFR operates rail services in northeast and in some parts of Bihar and West Bengal.

The local passenger and inter-city trains to Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh, Lumding, Kamakhya, Jorhat, Goalpara and Dimapur (Nagaland) were running on Tuesday, he added.

Sanjeev Jindal, Regional Executive Director of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), said since Sunday air services were operational at all 10 airports in the northeast, including six in Assam and one each in Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.

Talking to the media, Assam Finance and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state government would set up a high-level committee to probe the recent violence against the new Citizenship Act.

He said 136 cases had been registered and 190 people held for involvement in violence during the anti-CAA protests.

The CAA allows Indian citizenship to illegal Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Parsi, Jain and Buddhist migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh with December 31, 2014 being the cut-off date.

Sarma, also the convener of the Bharatiya Janata Party-floated grouping of non-Congress body North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), said through the new Act around 5,42,000 people might get citizenship in Assam.

A section of "politically-motivated" people were spreading misinformation that crores would be settled in the state under the new Act, he added.