The indefinite curfew which was in force in Dibrugarh municipal area was relaxed for 5 hours on Friday even as large number of people gathered in Chandmari area of Guwahati to observe a fast called by the AASU to protest against the Citizenship Act. In Dibrugarh municipal area the indefinite curfew was relaxed from 8 am, officials said. The Army and the security forces were conducting flag marches in Guwahati town which was the epicentre of the protests, besides Dibrugarh and Tezpur. A large number of people, including artists, singers and filmstars are observing a 10-hour fast called by the influential students' organisation against the Citizenship Act from 6 am. AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the protests will continue.
"We will not succumb to any pressure and our agitation will continue," he said. On Thursday two persons were killed in police firing and thousands descended on streets defying curfew as Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed his government was committed to safeguarding their rights. Several towns and cities were placed under indefinite curfew, including Guwahati, the epicentre of protests, besides Dibrugarh, Tezpur and Dhekiajuli. Night curfew was imposed in Jorhat, Golaghat, Tinsukia and Charaideo districts, officials said.
Internet services in 10 districts were suspended for another 48 hours beginning 12 pm of Thursday to prevent "misuse" of social media to disturb peace and tranquility, and to maintain law and order, officials said. The state government had removed the Guwahati Police commissioner Deepak Kumar and appointed Munna Prasad Gupta in his place on Thursday. Additional director general of police (law and order) Mukesh Agarwal was also transferred and replaced by ADGP (CID) GP Singh.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday gave his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, turning it into an Act. According to the Act, 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 given Indian citizenship. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and by Lok Sabha on Monday.