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Normalcy returns to Guwahati

Citizens plead to make mobile data operational
A busy road in Guwahati on Monday.

Rokibuz Zaman   |   Guwahati   |   Published 16.12.19, 06:36 PM

Normalcy appeared to have returned to the city as curfew was relaxed from 6am to 9pm on Monday.

Offices, banks, business establishments and public transport resumed operations on Monday, although the attendance was poor.

However, some sections continued their protests.

Gauhati University students staged a candlelight vigil as a mark of respect to those who lost their lives during the agitation across the country. Gauhati University Post-Graduate Students’ Union general secretary Moon Talukdar said: “We condemn the attacks and firing by security personnel on students and also seek a judicial inquiry into the killings of protesters. We also request that weapons not be used against peaceful protesters.” The AASU’s three-day satyagraha began here in the morning and the leaders addressed protesters at Latasil playground before marching towards the deputy commissioner’s office.

Assam home department sources said Internet services will remain suspended till December 18 to prevent possible misuse of social media and maintain law and order.

Mobile data services have been suspended since Wednesday, initially for 24 hours in 10 districts of the state, and then extended for 48 more hours, which was further extended for 24 hours on Monday.

App-cab and motorbike taxi services in the region have been badly affected as commuters failed to book vehicles on apps because of mobile data disruption. More than 12,000 cabs operate in Guwahati.

“We request the government to lift the ban on mobile data. We are daily wage earners. We have protested against the act as the government has betrayed us. But we cannot always protest as we have to feed our families,” cab driver Maniram Bordoloi, 28, of Khanapara, said. Serpentine queues were seen at ATMs since early morning. Most ATMs continued to be out of cash. As Internet services have been down since Wednesday evening, local residents have not been able to utilise online payment mechanisms either.

Onion prices are likely to rise from Tuesday from the going rate of Rs 100 per kg because of price hike at source.

“Farmers at Barpeta Road in Barpeta district sell one kg of tomatoes to middlemen at Rs 60 to Rs 70, while the same tomatoes cost Rs 100 per kg at Ulubari, Ganeshguri, Zoo Road, Hatigaon,” farmers and traders said.

Onions have been sold at over Rs 120 in Hatigaon, Silphukhuri, Ulubari, Six Mile, Lachit Nagar, Zoo Road and Narengi here. The price of every vegetable has increased by Rs 20 to Rs 30 per kg, said Rohit Kumar, a resident of Ganeshguri.


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