The protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, continued in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia on Friday.
The state government has been trying to convince people that the Act would not do any harm to Assamese language, culture and identity.
A peaceful rally was taken out against the Act from Chandmari village in the morning.
It reached Thanachariali through Parvatia. At least 2,000 people, including members of the All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union, Tinsukia Chamber of Commerce, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad, Daily Bazaar Vyapari Sanstha, New Market Vyapari Sanstha, All Assam Bhojpuri Parishad, All Tai Ahom Students Union, All Moran Students Union, All Assam Muttock Students Union, Bhojpuri Sahitya Sabha, local residents and traders, took part in the rally.
The protesters held up placards with messages against the state and the Centre and chanted slogans against the Act.
“We are with the indigenous people of Assam in their protest against the Act which we want to be scrapped. We urge everyone to oppose the Act in a peaceful and democratic manner,” president of the Assam Bhojpuri Parishad’s central committee Kailash Gupta said.
National Chamber of Commerce president Hiralal Sharma, Tinsukia Chamber of Commerce chief Sanwarmal Agarwala and its secretary Navin Mandhania also participated in the rally. “This is the struggle to save the existence of Assamese people, their language and culture. The Gorkhas are with them,” said Ravi Sharma, president of the All Assam Gorkha Students Union’s Tinsukia unit.
Most of the shops remained shut in Tinsukia as even small traders took to the streets.
The nine-hour curfew, on the other hand, continued from 8pm.
“We are watching the situation very closely,” an official of the Tinsukia district administration said. “This is the ninth day today. I cannot open my fruit stall as policemen or protesters throng the road and ask me to move. Life has become tough for poor people like us. I urge the government to bring back normalcy in Assam,” said Anita Bora, a fruit vendor on GNB Road.