CAB Protest: Assam Remains on The Edge, Two Protesters Dead, Mobile Internet Ban Extended For 48 Hours
Protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill in Assam (Photo Credits: IANS)

Guwahati, December 12: Violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 continued in Assam on Thursday despite Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal's appeal for peace. Two protesters died of bullet injuries at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Assam Director General of Police told news agency ANI on Thursday evening. As the situation remained tense, the state government decided to extend the ban on mobile internet services in ten districts for two days. Five columns of the Indian Army have been deployed in Assam to maintain law and order. CAB Passage Jolts Northeast: Why Assam and Neighbouring States Are Up in Protest Against Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Despite curfew in Guwahati, protesters hit the street on Thursday morning, prompting the Army to conduct a flag march. The capital city was the first to be placed under indefinite curfew which was later extended to Dibrugarh where CM Sonawal and Rameswar Teli and BJP MLA Binanda Hazarika's houses were attacked. In Ambari, the headquarters of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) ally the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) was allegedly attacked by protesters. Citizenship Amendment Bill Debate: Manipur to be Exempted Via Inner Line Permit, Says Amit Shah; Here's How ILP Will Offset CAB Impact.

Two Anti-CAB Protestors Die in Guwahati:

As protest intensified, the state government shunted out two key police officers including the Guwahati Police Commissioner. Munna Prasad Gupta was appointed the new Guwahati police chief replacing Deepak Kumar, while state Additional General of Police (Law and Order) Mukesh Agarwal was also transferred out. In view of deteriorating law and order situation in Guwahati, authorities declared holidays for 10 days till December 22 in all schools.

Clashes between protesters and security forces were reported in several parts of Guwahati. Police said that they had to open fire in Lalung Gaon area in Guwahati after protesters allegedly pelted stones at them, News18 reported. Four agitators were injured in the firing. Train services to and from Tripura and Assam remained suspended in view of the security situation. Passengers were stranded at airports in Guwahati and Dibrugarh as airlines cancelled flights.

Earlier today, Sonowal called for maintaining peace and calm. "I assure the people of Assam full protection to ensure their identity as a whole," Sonowal said in a statement here, urging the masses to "please come forward and create a situation of peace and tranquillity." "I hope the people will consider this appeal sensibly," he said.

On Wednesday, the Indian Parliament approved the CAB which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to all immigrants fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan - but not if they are Muslim. According to protesters, the legislation will change the demography of northeast as many non-Bengali or non-Assamese illegal immigrants will get citizenship.