Guwahati Paralyzed Amid Anti-CAB Protests


Roads in Guwahati have virtually become impossible to navigate as street fires set up by people protesting against the contentious amended Citizenship Act turned the city’s sky red.

Normal life in the city has been paralysed to the core as protesters are defying curfew and venturing out on the streets.

This was the scene on Thursday and is unlikely to change as the protesters are not willing to relent. They are up in arms against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), which was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and got President Ram Nath Kovind’s seal of approval a day later.

The streets of Guwahati were literally burned, the smoke adding a dramatic feel to the critical atmosphere in the city in almost all parts.

Passengers were left stranded at airports and bus terminals, with protesters refusing to allow even two-wheelers to pass through in a tense situation in the city even as the Army carried out flag marches and police and paramilitary forces kept a tight vigil.

An angry protestor said, “We don’t want CAB in Assam, it must go” who along with an army of fellow anti-CAB Assamese occupied a prominent square, surrounded by the bonfire of tyres and strewn stones in the streets.

The National Highway-37 literally, by parts had heaps of smouldering ashes or fire from burnt tyres, at some places, several bonfires, with flames reaching ominous heights presenting an intimidating sight to passers-by and wearied travellers.

Cries of ‘Joi Ai Axom’ (glory to mother Assam) rent the air on highways and streets as many protesters stood huddled at prominent roads, torching even twigs and branches of trees into the bonfire on a cold December.

The intensified protests left passengers stranded at Guwahati airport and the ISBT. A rear windshield of a government bus was seen shattered at the bus facility while travellers eagerly waited to carry on with their journeys to outstation areas like Shillong and Dimapur.

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