As the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) showed no signs of abating in the state, GP Singh, Additional Director General Police (Law and Order) took to Twitter and urged the citizens to become “ambassadors of Assam” as Guwahati gears up to host India vs Sri Lanka T20I on January 5th, 2020.
The state, Guwahati being the epicentre, witnessed violent protests against the CAA in December last year which forced the administration to impose curfew and ban the internet.
Singh urged the public to give the cricket teams of India and Sri Lanka “an environment that brings them back to Assam again”.
The streets of Assam, specially the Guwahati-Shillong Road, had turned into a veritable battle zone littered with burnt tyres, logs, stones, rubber pellets and teargas shells as seething protesters, mostly students, descended on the streets opposing the citizenship act.
Several vehicles and other public properties have been either set ablaze or ransacked during the anti-CAA movement by the protesters. Four people have been killed in police firing, while an oil tanker driver was charred to death when his vehicle was set on fire in Orang.
The violent protests had paralysed the city for a few days. However, the Assam government, Assam Police, district administration and Assam Cricket Association are leaving no stone unturned to hold an incident-free match.
The ACA has banned carrying posters, banners and message boards inside the Barsapara Cricket Stadium for the T20I between India and Sri Lanka on January 5th, 2020.
Addressing a presser in Guwahati, Devajit Saikia, secretary, ACA, said that placards showing ‘4’ and ‘6’ too will not be allowed. “No sketch pens or marker pens will be allowed to carry. Only wallets, handbags, mobile phones and vehicle keys will be permitted inside the ground,” he said.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli said that they are feeling “absolutely safe” in Guwahati.
Speaking to the press in Guwahati on the eve of the 1st T20I between India and Sri Lanka, Kohli said, “The city is absolutely safe. We didn’t see any problems on the roads.”
The first T20 international against Sri Lanka will be played at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium on January 5th, 2020.
When quizzed by reporters, Kohli also said that it would not be responsible for him to comment on the nationwide protests over the CAA as he doesn’t have total knowledge on the issue.