New Delhi, Dec 13, 2019: As protests intensified in Assam against the Citizenship Amendment Bill which was cleared in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday assured Assamese people that their rights would be unhinged while appealing for calm in the state.
Taking to microblogging site Twitter, PM Modi said, "I want to assure my brothers and sisters of Assam that they have nothing to worry after the passing of CAB", Zee reported.
Further assuring the protesting people that their rights will be protected, PM Modi said, "No one can take away your rights, unique identity and beautiful culture. It will continue to flourish and grow."
The PM further said that the central government and he was "totally committed to constitutionally safeguard the political, linguistic, cultural and land rights of the Assamese people as per the spirit of Clause 6."
The Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday with 125 votes in favour and 99 against it. On Monday (December 10), the Bill was passed in Lok Sabha with a thumping majority.
The passing of the bill led to widespread protests in the northeastern states, especially in Assam and Tripura, despite assurances by political leaders. As the protests rage, three flights and 21 train services were cancelled keeping in mind the volatile situation in Assam.
Further, national carrier Air India on Thursday cancelled a Kolkata-Dibugarh flight, while Vistara cancelled two flights to Guwahati and Dibrugarh. SpiceJet and GoAir, too, announced a reschedule or cancellation fee waiver to all passengers travelling to/from Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Jorhat till December 13.
Internet services were suspended in 10 districts of Assam, from 7 pm on Wednesday, to prevent "misuse" of social media to disturb peace and tranquillity and maintain law and order while they were suspended in Tripura for 48 hours from 2 pm on Tuesday to thwart attempts by mischief-mongers to disturb the peace.
The Army has been deployed in Guwahati and two more districts, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia. Internet services were snapped in ten Assam districts at 7 pm last evening.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s home in Dibrugarh was attacked on Wednesday, and he was reported to have been stranded for some time at the Guwahati airport on his return from Tezpur. A railway station in Chabua of Dibrugarh district, which is the chief minister’s hometown, was set ablaze by protesters late on Wednesday night. The Panitola Railway station in Tinsukia district was also vandalized and set on fire.
Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019, seeks to give Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zorastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.