No threat to Assam’s identity, says CM Sonowal after internet restored in state

Assam’s chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday assured people of the state there was no threat to their identity and language and that their rights are safe as the northeastern state has been singed by violence during protests against the citizenship law.

“I want to assure people that no one can steal the rights of the sons of the soil of Assam and there is no threat to our language or our identity,” Sarbananda Sonowal said during a press conference.

“In no way will the honour of Assam be affected. We will always have the support of the people and will move forward with peace in the state,” he said.

The chief minister’s comments came soon after mobile internet services were restored in all of Assam, almost 10 days after they were snapped following violent protests over the new citizenship law.

Mobile internet services were banned on December 11 in select districts and it was subsequently extended to all of Assam.

Sonowal also said those creating unrest in the state will not be spared.

Assam has been protesting against CAA as groups fear that the newly-amended law would lead to an influx of migrants into the state thus disrupting its ethnic fabric — something which has been at the centre of a decades-long agitation that was resolved in the 1980s.

Protests had raged in Guwahati and other cities in Assam for the last week against the new citizenship law. The administration responded by deploying a massive security force, clamping curfew in Guwahati and suspending internet.

Four people were killed in Guwahati after being hit by bullets allegedly fired by the security forces as thousands of protesters took to the streets amid a curfew. The city saw multiple cases of violence and vandalism as protestors clashed with security forces.

Assam police officials said the total number of arrests has gone up to 329 even as more than 200 cases have been registered.

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