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Protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act: Rail, road services affected in Bihar; Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya peaceful

PTI Kolkata/Guwahati/Patna/Shillong | Updated on December 19, 2019 Published on December 19, 2019

Bihar Bandh: Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) president Mukesh Sahni and his supporters block a railway track at Rajendra Nagar Terminal during protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, in Patna, on Thursday. - PTI

West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya were peaceful on Thursday while agitators blocked rail and road traffic during a bandh called by Left-wing student organisations in Bihar against the new citizenship law.  Train services were affected and roads blocked during a bandh called by Left parties in Bihar. The bandh is being supported by smaller parties too.

 In Patna, activists belonging to pro-Left student bodies like AISF and AISA stormed the Rajendra Nagar Terminus and squatted on the tracks disrupting movement of trains for about half an hour early in the morning.  Traffic was restored after the protesters were chased away by RPF personnel.

 Fresh disturbance was witnessed at the station at around 10 am when hundreds of activists of Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) floated by controversial former MP Pappu Yadav burnt tyres on the road adjacent to the Rajendra Nagar Terminus and some of them squatted on the tracks.

 An ambulance which was trying to make its way through the road and head towards a residential locality nearby was vandalised.  CPI(M) activists squatted on the tracks near Laharia Sarai station in Darbhanga district, affecting movement of trains for some time.  In Jehanabad, CPI(ML) activists staged a roadblock on Kako More, disrupting traffic on national highways NH 110 and 83.

 CPI(ML) cadres also staged a demonstration close to the block headquarters at Musahari in Muzaffarpur, disrupting plying of vehicles between the district and adjoining Samastipur.  No fresh incident of violence over the new citizenship law has been reported so far in West Bengal.  Stray incidents of clashes between groups supporting the amended Citizenship Act and those opposing it were reported on Wednesday.

Protest march in West Bengal

 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been at the forefront in opposing the new citizenship law and the NRC, is scheduled to hold a protest rally in Esplanade area in the heart of Kolkata.  The Left parties are also scheduled to hold a protest march against the new citizenship law from Ramlila Maidan to Lady Brabourne College in the city.

 Intellectuals are slated to take out another protest march from Ramlila Maidan to Hogg Market.  Normalcy returned to Guwahati, while the curfew in Dibrugarh was relaxed for 14 hours since 6 am.  The curfew imposed in Guwahati, the gateway to the Northeast, on December 11 in the wake of protests against the citizenship law was lifted on Tuesday following improvement in the situation.

 No fresh incidents of violence have been reported so far in Assam.  Business establishments and banks were open and vehicles plied normally. Schools and colleges were, however, closed. Mobile internet services remain suspended.  Flight operations and railway services had resumed in Guwahati on Tuesday, while flights to and from Dibrugarh airport were also operating as per schedule, officials said.

 Curfew relaxed

 Curfew was relaxed for 14 hours in Meghalaya capital Shillong but mobile internet services remain suspended, an official said.  Curfew was relaxed from 6 am in areas under Lumdiengjri and Sadar police station limits of Shillong, an order issued by East Khasi Hills District Magistrate M W Nongbri said.

 A resolution seeking implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya will be tabled in the Meghalaya Assembly during its special session during the day.

 Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in and around the Assembly premises in Rilbong area of the hill town to prevent any untoward incident during the session, East Khasi Hills District Magistrate M W Nongbri said.

Published on December 19, 2019
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