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Tuesday 18 February 2020

Assam: Curfew to be lifted, internet resumed today

Assam Government has decided to lift curfew completely from Tuesday 17 December... including the night curfew: Himanta Biswa Sarma's tweet

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed on Monday that curfew will lifted from the entire State on Tuesday, amid a ruckus in Assam over the amended citizenship law. Sarma also wrote in a tweet that broadband internet service will also be restored.

The minister tweeted, “Assam Government has decided to lift curfew completely from Tuesday December 17, 2019, including the night curfew. The broad band internet connectivity will also stand restored from tomorrow.”

The situation in the city was somewhat normalized as the curfew was relaxed from 6 AM to 9 PM in Guwahati. Chief Public Relations Officer of Assam Police Rajiv Saikia had told that the night curfew will remain in force in Guwahati.

Earlier, Minister Sarma had said that during the violence in Assam, the police had registered 136 cases, 190 people have been arrested.

The minister said that according to the assessment of the State government, 5.42 lakh people will benefit from the revised citizenship law in Assam.

Earlier, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had assured the people that their local culture was secured due to Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, which stayed unaffected by the changed citizenship law. However, wild rumours spreading via social media and vested interests did not let peace prevail as paranoia translated into violence across areas where ethnic Assamese people far outnumbered Bengali natives as well as settlers.

The State has suffered terrible economic losses due to the anti-citizenship law protests, not limited to the losses incurred due to cancelled flights and trains. Crude oil and gas production in Assam have declined drastically because of the State-wide protest against the amended Citizenship Act, affecting supply of petrol, diesel and LPG in many districts.

Two major PSU fuel producers Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) had on Sunday reported that their gas output had to be halted. Oil production went down by more than 75% since the protests erupted.

A senior official from the OIL said from its field headquarters at Duliajan in upper Assam, “Our gas production has completely stopped. In the crude oil segment, we were producing 9,000 tonnes per day, which came down to just 1,000 tonnes.”

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