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All train services to Tripura, Assam suspended by NFR, 8 Columns of Indian Army sent
TIWN Dec 12, 2019
All train services to Tripura, Assam suspended by NFR, 8 Columns of Indian Army sent
PHOTO : Securities deployed in Agartala. TIWN Pic Dec 12, 2019

New Delhi, Dec 12 (TIWN): Railways has suspended all passenger train services in Tripura and Assam and short-terminated long distance trains to the region to Guwahati following protests in the two states over the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament, a railway spokesperson told PTI on Thursday.The decision was taken Wednesday night in view of the security situation in the region, Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson Subhanan Chanda said, adding many passengers are stranded in Kamakhya and Guwahati. After a railway station in Dibrugarh's Chabua, the hometown of the Assam chief minister, was set on fire by protestors late Wednesday night and the Panitola railway station in Tinsukia district torched, 12 companies of the Railway Protection Special Force (RPSF) have been dispatched to the region, DG of RPF Arun Kumar told PTI.To control the deteriorating law and order situation over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019, eight columns of the Indian Army was on Thursday deployed to Assam and Tripura as per the requests made by the governments of the two states.

Five columns, each consisting of 70 soldiers and one or two officers, were deployed in Assam, while three columns have been deployed in Tripura.  Army sources said that the personnel’s task would be to help the local administration wherever and whenever required.  Guwahati has become an epicentre of the anti-CAB protests, prompting the Assam government to place the city under an indefinite curfew.  Both Assam and Tripura plunged into chaos after the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on Monday midnight and the situation deteriorated after the legislation passed its final hurdle in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday night. 

Internet services have been suspended in both the states over fears of the misuse of social media to disturb peace.  An order issued by the Tripura government also prohibits SMSs on all networks of mobile service providers.  In Assam, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was stuck at the airport earlier on Wednesday after the protests broke out. He however, managed to reach his residence through the city. 

The region is witnessing widespread protests over the Bill, which allows six immigrant communities, barring Muslim, from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh for Indian citizens.  Protesters have expressed concerns that refugees allowed by the Bill could endanger identity and livelihood of indigenous people.  Before bringing the Bill in Parliament, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held extensive meetings with all the stakeholders in the northeast and made appropriate exceptions.

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