City limping back to normalcy after violent anti-CAA protests; few city buses, pvt vehicles plying; people come out to buy essential items; long queues in petrol pumps, ATMs
Guwahati: With no fresh incident of violence taking place, curfew was relaxed for seven hours from 9 am to 4 pm in Guwahati, the epicentre of the massive protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 in Northeast India, on Saturday.
In Dibrugarh too, curfew was relaxed till 2 pm. However, it continued to remain in force in several towns of upper Assam, said reports.
In Guwahati, a few city buses we're seen plying on the crucial GS Road on Saturday morning. Even private vehicles were taken out by locals who were forced to stay indoors for almost three days after protests took a violent turn on Wednesday.
However, since were shut and offices closed due to second Saturday, the overall traffic was thin.
Meanwhile, ferry services between Guwahati and North Guwahati were resumed after curfew was relaxed. The last service will be made available till 3.40 pm, said reports.
Even before news of relaxation of curfew spread, residents in Guwahati came out in hordes to lay their hands on essential items like food and medicines. But due to the lack of supply from wholesalers, especially vegetables and meat/ fish, many had to return empty-handed.
A majority of the bank ATMs remained shut, adding to the misery of residents in terms of cash. Since internet services have been down since Wednesday evening, locals could not make use of digital payments / transactions.
Several hospitals, including the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, are reported to be facing shortage of essential items and oxygen cylinders.
Although a few petrol pumps were opened on Friday evening, after the Kamrup (Metro) district administration directed the North East Petroleum Dealers’ Association to do so, there were long queues at all of them.
Meanwhile, for those stranded at the Guwahati Airport and Guwahati railway station, the Assam State Transport Corporation introduced shuttle bus services for them.