The overall situation in Assam continued to improve, leading to relaxation of indefinite curfew in Guwahati and Dibrugarh for several hours on December 16, though internet services in the state remained suspended even as protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, continued.
Indefinite curfew in Tezpur and Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur district has been lifted, with only Prohibitory Orders under CrPC 144 remaining in place in the district.
Curfew during the night hours remained clamped in a few areas, including Golaghat, Jorhat, and Charaideo districts.
The suspension on internet services since December 11, which was scheduled to end on December 16, has been further extended by 24 hours.
Train services continued to be affected with anti-CAA protests in neighbouring West Bengal leading to the cancellation of all trains to eastern and southern parts from Northeast region since December 15.
Local passenger trains in Assam continued to remain cancelled, though running of long-distance passenger trains to Delhi and Mumbai, among other places, have resumed and is expected to get back on schedule soon.
Flight operations at Guwahati airport have also affected, with several flights to and from Guwahati cancelled.
In the main city Guwahati, curfew was relaxed from 6am to 9pm on December 16, and if no fresh incidents of violence are reported, only night curfew is likely in the city from December 17.
Curfew was also relaxed in Dibrugarh town for several hours on December 16, and no fresh disturbances have been reported from any part in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, protests against the CAA continued peacefully in different parts of the state.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) carried out a ‘satyagraha’ programme in Guwahati and hundreds of AASU members and supporters courted arrest in the city as they started in a process from Latasil Field in Guwahati.
The agitators were detained at a makeshift confinement area near Latasil Field for some time but released later.
The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) launched a 36-hour hunger strike at Ulubari area in the city this morning against the CAA.
Protests against the CAA were also reported from Jorhat in the eastern part of the state.
Assam has been opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal Hindu, Parsi, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who had entered India before December 31, 2014, without any documents.
People of Northeast states, especially Assam and Tripura, are demanding its revocation as they fear being ‘overrun’ by non-Muslims from neighbouring Bangladesh.