Railways and flights have all been suspended to Assam and Guwahati following the protests in two states over the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in parliament. Prominent domestic airlines such as SpiceJet, Vistara, IndiGo and GoAir have already announced the free rescheduling of travel data or free cancellation in light of the tense situation in Assam.
#TravelUpdate Due to ongoing unrest in Assam, SpiceJet is offering full refund and waiver of cancellation/change fee (Fare Difference applicable) for all flights to/from Guwahati and Dibrugarh for travel till December 13th, 2019. 1/2
— SpiceJet (@flyspicejet) December 11, 2019
Similarly, the decision by the Northeast Frontier Railway was taken after a railways station in Dibrugarh’s Chabua, the hometown of the Assam chief minister was set on fire by protestors late Wednesday night. With an indefinite curfew in some areas and mobile internet being shut down in 10 districts, in the view of the violence, the government has also cancelled some flights to and from Assam.
All ATCs have been kept out of the CAB. The Assam Accord was signed in 1985 by Rajiv Gandhi and nothing was done after that.
— BJP (@BJP4India) December 9, 2019
Sanjeev Jindal, Regional Executive Director of Airport Authority of India (AAI), Northeast said “nine flight at Dibrugarh have been cancelled because there are no taxis and some passengers who arrived yesterday are still stranded. We managed to send people to Tinsukia and Dibrugarh town. But the ones from Arunachal are still at the airport. We are providing them with food and other essential commodities”.
However, Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi re-assures citizens of Assam.
With Assam’s capital and many of its districts having been placed under indefinite curfew till further orders, the tension within the state is primal, causing for safety issue. Therefore, The Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the people of Assam that no one can take away their rights, unique identity and beautiful culture, amid protests in parts of the state against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019. Followed by a tweet to re-establish that people of Assam need not have to worry.
I want to assure my brothers and sisters of Assam that they have nothing to worry after the passing of #CAB.
I want to assure them- no one can take away your rights, unique identity and beautiful culture. It will continue to flourish and grow.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 12, 2019
The citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zoroastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and who entered India on or before 31 December 2014.
In other words, the CAB paves the way for Indian citizenship to lakhs of immigrants, who identify themselves with any of the given religions, even if they lacked any document to prove their residency. It also means that any immigrant who does not belong to the said communities would not be eligible for Indian citizenship.