As Assam continued to rage over the Citizenship Amendment Bill or CAB, the state government on Thursday removed Guwahati Police commissioner and a senior officer responsible for law and order in the state. Guwahati police chief Deepak Kumar has been removed and Munna Prasad Gupta has been appointed in his place, news agency PTI quoted Commissioner and Secretary (Home and Political) Ashutosh Agnihotri as saying.
Besides Kumar, Additional director general of police (law and order) Mukesh Agarwal was transferred as ADGP (CID) and GP Singh was given his charge. Singh was earlier posted in New Delhi as inspector general of police at the National Investigation Agency. ADGP (CID) LR Bishnoi has also been transferred as ADGP (training and armed police), the officials said.
The major reshuffle has come as tens of thousands of protesters defied curfew and hit the streets on Thursday, demanding revocation of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The protesters clashed with the police and set afire several government vehicles. It is being said that the magnitude of the protests is the same as the violent six-year movement that resulted in the signing of the Assam accord in 1985. The protesters attacked the house of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. They also pelted stones at the houses of several BJP leaders. The house of Union minister Rameswar Teli in Assam's Duliajan was also attacked by the anti-CAB protesters.
As the protests spread across the state, the Army has been deployed in Guwahati, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Jorhat districts in Assam. An indefinite curfew has been imposed in Guwahati and internet services has been suspended in 10 districts of Assam for the next 48 hours starting Thursday 12 pm.
A railway station in Dibrugarh’s Chabua, the hometown of the chief minister, was set on fire by protestors late in the night. The Panitola railway station in Tinsukia district was also torched, a Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson said. Some student leaders, who went live on national TV, claimed many agitators were injured in police action in front of the secretariat.