On December 9, 2019, the Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) with 311 members voting in favour and 80 voting against it. And, after a 7-hour-long session at Rajya Sabha, the bill was passed on December 11, 2019, with 125 votes favouring the motion. The Bill has now also received the President's assent.
However, even as the parliamentary houses favor the contentious bill, people have been divided over what the bill entails for India. People in took to the streets to protest against the ban, which reportedly, is in violation of the Assam Accord of 1985. Though the government banned internet services and imposed section 144 in Assam, the protests have continued.
Here's a timeline of everything that has taken place in Assam in the last 48 hours:
After the CAB bill was passed in Lok Sabha, people in Tripura and Assam took to the streets to protest against the bill. Other northeastern States either held protests or shut down in support of Assam and Tripura.
People in Assam, including senior citizens, protested on the streets. Protestors also blocked the movement of trains and vehicular transportation.
Indian Railways: 8 trains have been cancelled and 8 trains short terminated, due to indefinite 'Rail Roko' by various organisations and associations in Tinsukia division in Assam.— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2019
Assam: Protesters vandalise Chabua and Panitola railway stations and set fire to properties there. Dibrugarh and Tinsukia railway stations have been put on high alert. #CitizenshipAmendmentBill2019— ANI (@ANI) December 11, 2019
Protestors chanted anti-BJP and anti-government slogans in Guwahati, staged protests outside the houses of certain MLAs, and called for the boycott of the Indo-Japan summit in the city.
National Award-winning filmmaker Jahnu withdrew his film “Bhoga Khirikee” (Broken Window) from the upcoming Assam film awards in protest.
Protests intensified on December 11, 2019, as Rajya Sabha began the session for discussion of CAB. Under police lathi charge, 25 protesters were reportedly injured in Assam's Dibrugarh district.
People, including students, blocked National Highway-37 to stage a protest against the bill. People also continued to protest across various regions, including the state's seat of power, Dispur.
As protests continued to grow, the police reportedly responded with firing rubber bullets and blank fire, until finally, Section 144 had to be imposed.
As per reports, 5,000 paramilitary personnel were airlifted to the states to maintain peace and order. Of these, 20 companies (2,000 personnel) were withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir where they were deployed to maintain peace before the BJP government's decision to revoke Article 370, and the remaining 30 companies were withdrawn from other places.
Amidst the protests, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal was stuck at the Guwahati airport, after he returned from Tezpur. However, after some time, his convoy reached Brahmaputra State guest house.
On Dec 11, along with suspending mobile internet services in 10 districts in Assam, the government also imposed an indefinite curfew in Guwahati. The curfew was also extended to Assam's Dibrugarh district.
The Ranji trophy game, between Assam and the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB), was also suspended.
On December 12, thousands of people defied curfew to continue protesting against the CAB. Consequently, the police opened fire in Lalung Gaon area, after protestors began pelting stones, and on the Guwahati-Shillong Road, where protestors burned tires and vandalized shops. Four protesters were allegedly injured when police opened fire in Lalung Gaon area.
Protests continued as MLA Binod Hazarika's residence was set ablaze. Police chief Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta's convoy was also attacked with stones.
Internet shutdown, which began on Wednesday evening, was extended in Assam for another 48 hours. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting also issued an advisory to TV Channels to be cautious while airing content that may promote 'anti-national' sentiments.
In light of the protests against CAB, several airlines cancelled scheduled flights to Assam.
#TravelUpdate Due to the ongoing unrest in Assam, we are waiving rescheduling/cancellation fee to the customers travelling to and from Guwahati and Dibrugarh till Dec 13, 2019. Fare difference if any, will be applicable. Thank you.— Vistara (@airvistara) December 11, 2019
Due to prevailing situation in Assam, flights to/from Dibrugarh are cancelled for today (12th Dec, 2019). Please visit Plan B https://t.co/DSSJqiVQRK to choose an alternate flight or get a refund. For assistance, contact us on Twitter/Facebook. https://t.co/ATa9FupUaB— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) December 12, 2019
Today, curfew was relaxed Guwahati and Dibrugarh, till 1 pm.
In the most recent update, two protesters were reportedly killed in police firing in Assam's Guwahati.