Assam: Section 144 Imposed Ahead of Protests Against Citizenship Bill

"By imposing Section 144, the government is trying to stall our agitation."

Guwahati: With thousands protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill expected to descend on Guwahati on Friday, authorities slapped prohibitory orders banning the assembly of four or more people in and Assam’s main city.

Responding to the agitation planned by 70 organisations, thousands of people have taken part in motorcycle rallies held from different places of Assam and are on their way to Guwahati.

“We are taking preventive measures to ensure peaceful movement of public, smooth flow of traffic and normal functioning of offices in and around Guwahati,” said a senior official.

The Bill has generated passions in Assam. The Bill allows persecuted minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to find a sanctuary in Assam, Assamese leaders say.

Also read: The NRC and Citizenship Bill Have Fuelled Old, Divisive Anxieties in Assam

Unconfirmed reports say that leaders of some protesting groups are being detained.

“We are going to hold the demonstration at the Dispur Press Club at 10 am tomorrow. However, by imposing Section 144, the government is trying to stall our agitation,” said RTI activist and farmers’ body leader Akhil Gogoi.

Gogoi’s Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti is leading the agitation against the Bill.