Citizenship Bill protest: Death toll rises to six in Assam
Death toll rose to six in Assam as driver of tanker was set ablaze and a protester injured in police firing succumbed to injuries.
Guwahati: The death toll in the anti-citizenship law protests in Assam has risen to six with a protester succumbing to bullet injuries sustained during police firing on December 12 and a tanker driver succumbing to burns a day after the heavy vehicle was torched. Violence also rose in West Bengal with protesters torching five trains, three railway stations and tracks, and at least 25 buses yesterday in protest against Citizenship Bill.
Tension heightened at the epicentre of the unrest in Assam state's biggest city, Guwahati, with a fresh demonstration Sunday over the legislation even as some shops opened amid an easing of the curfew during the day.
Suspension of internet services across Assam has been extended for 48 hours till December 16 though curfew has been relaxed in Dibrugarh and Guwahati and also parts of Meghalaya, while a six-hour shutdown was observed in Nagaland. The UGC National Eligibility Test for candidates scheduled to appear in Assam and Meghalaya was postponed.
In Assam, three people died in hospital after being shot, while another died when a shop he was sleeping in was set on fire, officials said.
Train services were also suspended in some parts of the east on Sunday after violence in eastern West Bengal state, with demonstrators torching trains and buses.
Amid growing fears that the new law will grant citizenship to large numbers of immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday again called for calm, saying local cultures in north-eastern states were not under threat.
"Culture, language, social identity and political rights of our brothers and sisters from the northeast will remain intact," Shah told a rally in eastern Jharkhand state, News18 television network reported.
Rights groups and a Muslim political party are challenging the law in the Supreme Court, arguing that it is against the constitution and India's secular traditions.