Dibrugarh University CAB protest
Protest in Dibrugarh University. Image credit - Twitter @TulikaBurhagoh2

The Vice-Chancellor and Registrar of Dibrugarh University on Friday joined the hunger strike observed by the students of the university, opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019 has become an Act after President Ram Nath Kovind gave the assent to the bill.

The new Act seeks to grant Indian citizenship to persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have migrated to India after facing persecution on grounds of religion in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh if they fulfil conditions for grant of citizenship.

The Dibrugarh University students observed the hunger strike at the university campus.

The hunger strike was participated by a large number of female students.

Meanwhile, curfew was relaxed in Dibrugarh municipal areas from 8 am to 1 pm on Friday.

The district administration has appealed to everyone to maintain peace and harmony.

But anti-CAB protestors torched a Scorpio car on the NH 37 at Kumaranisiga in Dibrugarh town.

The police opened fire in the air to disperse protestors.

Also read: Assam: Army flag march in Dibrugarh, curfew clamped

Following the relaxation of curfew for five hours, the people were seen thronging the ATMs to collect money and shops to buy essential commodities.

However, all the banks and business establishments downed their shutters in Dibrugarh as the relaxation period of the curfew was over.

Many passengers have remained stranded at Mohanbari airport and New Tinsukia railway station due to the unrest.

The passengers are having a tough time due to the scarcity of food.

Also read: CAB becomes Act, gets President Kovind’s assent

The airport authority has been making all-out efforts to help passengers.

All flights from Mohanbari airport have been cancelled.

“I am stranded at New Tinsukia railway station for the last two days. No food to eat at the railway station. I have to go to Dibrugarh but don’t know what to do,” said Debabrata Paul, a resident of Dibrugarh.

“The situation has remained tense in Chabua. Some passengers have started returning home,” Paul added.

Meanwhile, Dibrugarh Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) president Punakon Baruah, who is Lahowal MLA Rituparna Baruah’s brother, resigned from the party in protest against CAB.

Many BJP members under Bindhakata Gaon panchayat in Chabua also resigned from the party on Thursday in protest against CAB.

“Situation has been under control in Dibrugarh. Normalcy has been returning in Dibrugarh. We are trying everything possible to maintain law and order,” said a police official.

In the last two days, Dibrugarh, the home district of Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, has witnessed massive protests and violence.

Anti-CAB protesters took to the streets in large numbers and vandalised the public property.

Incidents of violence were reported from Chabua on Thursday.

The United Bank of India branch, circle office, and Gaon Panchyat office at Chabua were torched by protesters.

Security forces failed to control the law and order situation at Chabua and the Army was deployed to control the situation.

IPS officer Sreejith T., former Dima Hasao superintendent of police (SP), has taken charge as the new SP of Dibrugarh district.

The former Dibrugarh SP, Gautam Bora, has been transferred and posted as the Commandant, 10th APBn, Kahilipara.

“For the last five days, we have failed to go outside the home. The situation in Dibrugarh has become tense after the CAB was passed in the Rajya Sabha. We have never seen such kind of worst situation in Dibrugarh,” said Sumit Nandi, a resident of Dibrugarh.

“Today, curfew was relaxed for five hours and we purchased the essential commodities,” said Sumit Nandi, a local.

Dibrugarh deputy commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha said, “Now, the situation has improved in Dibrugarh. Chabua was tense on Thursday but now the situation has been improving.”

The Army has been taking out flag marches in the sensitive areas of Dibrugarh.

No untoward incident has been reported from the Tinsukia district.

The protesters observed blockade on Makum road in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com