Curfew has been relaxed in Assam's largest city Guwahati and in some parts of Dibrugarh for the second consecutive day on Sunday, after days of violent protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act on refugee naturalisation, police said.
In Guwahati, the curfew has been relaxed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., said a senior police official, adding the it has also been relaxed in some parts of Dibrugarh for around eight hours since morning. Curfew was first lifted from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Guwahati, Dibrugarh west, Naharkatia, Tenughat and some other places in the district on Saturday.
As the curfews were relaxed, long queues were seen outside shops at several places, including Dispur, Uzan Bazar, Chandmari, Silpukhuri and Zoo Road in Guwahati town. Auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws were plying across the city.
Petrol pumps in the city have also opened with vehicles waiting in lines to refuel. The official said that the police are using loudspeakers to inform the public about the relaxation. The city as well as other parts of Assam faced violent protests after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was cleared by Lok Sabha in a late night sitting on Monday.
The Bill was on Wednesday also passed by the Rajya Sabha and it got the President's approval the next day paving the way for it to become a law which provides Indian citizenship to six non-Muslim communities -- Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians -- who fled to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 31, 2014 due to religious persecution.
As per the Act, such communities will not be treated as illegal immigrants now and will be given Indian citizenship.