Protests continue in N East, West Bengal

Kashmir Times. Dated: 12/15/2019 11:59:24 AM

Oil tanker set ablaze in Assam # Thousands gather at Jantar Mantar

NEW DELHI/GUWAHATI, Dec 14(Agencies): Protests against the amended Citizenship Act continued on Saturday in West Bengal and in some states in the northeast.
While there was large-scale violence in Bengal, Assam DGP claimed that the situation was returning to normal in the state. Protests against the new citizenship law intensified in the national capital too as thousands of people gathered at Jantar Mantar and Assam Bhawan to call an end to "religious profiling". Here are the top developments and reactions of the day:
West Bengal saw large-scale violence on Saturday against the amended Citizenship Act prompting Mamata Banerjee to appeal for calm and also warn those indulging in violence of strict action.
A portion of Sankrail railway station complex in Howrah district was set on fire by a mob which also thrashed security personnel guarding it. Roads in and around the Sankrail railway station was blocked by the protesters who also set a few shops on fire, police sources said. Train services were affected in Howrah and Sealdah sections.
A number of private and public buses were torched by angry protesters on the arterial Kona Expressway that connects NH2 (Delhi Road) to NH6 (Mumbai Road) near the city and in the districts and a toll plaza was set ablaze in Murshidabad district.
In Odisha, the railway authorities today cancelled several trains running through the state due to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
In view of massive public agitation at different railway stations including Sankrail, Maurigram, Bankra Nayabaj and Nalpur stations in Howrah-Kharagpur railway section of South Eastern Railway, many trains have been cancelled and controlled at different railway stations, said East Coast Railway (ECoR).
It said seven express trains cancelled from Howrah and three trains from Puri in view of agitation by people at various railway stations.
In Assam, an oil tanker was set ablaze in Assam’s Sonitpur district, killing its driver, even as protests against the amended Citizenship Act continued today across the state amid a rail blockade, sit-ins and hunger strikes by different organisations, officials said.
The empty oil tanker, on its way for refilling petrol from Sipajhar in Udalguri district, was set ablaze by a group of people at Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur on Friday night, police said.
The driver of the tanker was taken to a private nursing home where he succumbed to severe burn injuries on Saturday morning, they said.
Meanwhile, AASU, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and 30 other organisations of indigenous people, spearheading the agitation against the Act, held protests in all districts of the Brahmaputra Valley along with senior citizens, students, artists, singers, intellectuals and teachers.
The AJYCP blocked tracks at Kamakhya railway station, disrupting trains.
Officials said that internet services has been suspended across Assam till December 16. Earlier, suspension of internet services in ten districts of Assam was extended for 48 hours on Thursday, beginning 12 pm, to prevent "misuse" of social media to disturb peace and tranquility, and to maintain law and order, officials said.
Curfew in Meghalaya's Shillong was relaxed from 10 AM to 7 PM after improved situation, Official said. Curfew was also relaxed in Assam's Guwahati and Dibrugarh.
In Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal has given call for a Bihar bandh on December 21 in protest against the amended Citizenship Act.
"The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is a black legislation that has blown the Constitution to smithereens. As a mark of protest, Rashtriya Janata Dal will organize a Bihar bandh on Sunday, December 22. We appeal to all secular parties, non-political outfits and common citizens who have faith in the Constitution and the principle of justice to wholeheartedly support the bandh and help us make it a success," Tejashwi Yadav wrote in a tweet. However the bandh was pro-poned to December 21.
After a six-hour shutdown call given by the Naga Students' Federation, schools and colleges remained closed, markets were shut and vehicles remained largely off the roads in parts of Nagaland. However, students appearing for examination, medical staff on duty, media personnel, and those having weddings were being allowed on roads by the protestors.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Saturday closed entry and exit gates at Janpath metro station. "As advised by Delhi Police, entry and exit at Janpath has been closed. Trains will not be halting at this station," the DMRC tweeted.
In Guwahati and Shillong, the curfew imposed amid protests against the amended Citizenship Act has been relaxed from 9 AM-4 PM and 10 AM to 7 PM, respectively. Long queues were seen outside shops at several places in Assam, including in Dispur, Uzan Bazar, Chandmari, Silpukhuri and Zoo Road. Petrol pumps in the city have also opened with vehicles waiting in lines to refuel. Schools and offices, however, remained shut.
The UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) for candidates scheduled to appear in Assam and Meghalaya was also postponed today due to unrest in the region. The National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the test, announced that the exam in other states will be held on Sunday as per the schedule.
Employees of the Assam government Saturday announced that they will go for cease work on December 18 in protest against the amended Citizenship Act. Sadou Asam Karmachari Parishad (SAKP) President Basab Kalita was quoted as saying by PTI that all employees of the state government across Assam will not attend offices on December 18.

 

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