From Our Special Correspondent
GUWAHATI: The indefinite curfew in the city was relaxed for seven hours during the day with the situation improving as the movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) 2019 gained momentum across the state in a peaceful and democratic manner.
Schools and offices in Guwahati, however, remained shut, official sources said. Suspension of internet services across Assam was extended for 48 hours till December 16 to prevent misuse of social media in disturbing peace and to maintain law and order in the state, additional chief secretary (home and political department) Sanjay Krishna said.
However, some suspected miscreants set ablaze an oil tanker at Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur district and killed its driver during curfew on Friday late night.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) had, over the past couple of days, appealed to the protesters to carry out a discipline and non-violent movement for a week during the day hours (till 5 pm only).
AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said the students’ body follows Mahatma Gandhi’s ideal of non-violence.
The students’ organistaion kept up its protest meetings along with Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and 30 other indigenous organisations in the Brahmaputra Valley.
As it is, the anti-CAA movement has started penetrating into the villages and towns from Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, vehicle commuters heaped a sigh of relief with oil depots reopening from Saturday morning. A couple of petrol pumps, which had opened on Friday, had seen heavy rush with many vehicle drivers forced to return empty-handed.
With ATMs running dry, people faced a lot of difficulties in withdrawing cash even as the State Bank of India (SBI) deployed a mobile ATM at an oil depot in Ganeshguri.
An SBI official, however, assured that sufficient cash will be loaded across 329 ATMs in Kamrup (Metro) district over the weekend as an emergency measure.
On the other hand, passengers at Guwahati Railway Station have been stranded for the past four days with local trains suspended and only a few long-distance trains plying from the city.
A NF Railway spokesman said that all trains to upper Assam districts have been terminated in Guwahati while all long distance trains leaving it will resume their onward journey after the blockade is lifted by 5 pm.
Under the new law, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities — who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there — will not be treated as illegal immigrants but will be given Indian citizenship. (With PTI inputs)