No protests in Guwahati on Friday; indefinite curfew on, net services remain suspended
Guwahati: Guwahati remained calm and peaceful on Friday. No protests were seen on the streets of the city. People are now more worried about the supply and availability of essentials. With curfew in place and no public transport or trucks and tempos (commonly used in this part to ferry vegetables etc from nearby areas) plying, people are concerned that stocks of essentials and vegetables might run out and prices would spiral. Curfew has not been lifted though there was some relaxation during the morning hoursPeople were seen rushing to nearby markets to buy essentials. Students living in PGs were seen walking from one kirana store to the other looking for basic food items as only the small shops were open during the morning hours, the bigger grocery stores kept their shutters down. Long queues of vehicles were seen outside fuel stations in the couple of hours when the stations open in the morning. People who could not fill their tanks and have run out of fuel were forced to leave their vehicles outside the fuel stations and walk back home as no public transport or cabs are plying. Long queues were also seen outside ATMs. Many ATMs have already run out of cash. Private vehicles were seen on the streets of Guwahati during the morning hours but now the traffic has thinned out giving the feel of curfew in place.Police, CRPF and Army personnel could be seen in several key locations. Army continues to be on standby, maximum presence could be seen on the GS Road that saw some of the worst violent protests ever. Situation was reported to be a little tense in Hatigaon area where the body of the youth who died during police firing on Thursday was brought home on Friday. According to eye witness account, Sam Stanford, 17 year old local of Hatigaon was standing by the roadside while protests were going on. He was not one of the protester. Unfortunately, a bullet hit him in the head and he died on the spot. Security was beefed up in and around Hatigaon. The only protest that happened on Friday in Guwahati was the 10 hour sit-in protest that was organised by All Assam Student Union in Chandmari, a locality of Guwahati.Eminent artists and lawyers, leading film stars, seniors journalists and faculties from university and colleges of Guwahati showed their solidarity by taking part in the protest.Senior citizens and aged artists in wheel chairs also took part in the protest. The response that AASU’s protest received on Thursday and Friday despite curfew, reflects the mood and sentiment of the people of Assam. It also clearly states that the protests have gone beyond being just students protest.