Anti-CAA protests erupt in Assam

Congress workers led by Leader of Opposition in Assam assembly staged protest and burnt copies of the Act.

Guwahati: Protests against the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) erupted across Assam on Tuesday with effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and copies of the law being burnt.

The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) burnt the effigies of the prime minister and the home minister in Lakhimpur, while the Congress also torched copies of the law in different parts of the district to protest against the implementation of the CAA.

Congress workers led by Leader of the Opposition in Assam assembly Debabrata Saikia staged a protest in front of its state headquarters Rajiv Bhawan in Guwahati and burnt copies of the Act.

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The CPI(M) also held a demonstration against the implementation of the Act here and in Kamrup’s Rangia town, while students of different colleges organised protests outside their respective institutions in the city.

In Sivasagar district, activists of Raijor Dal, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and the Chatra Mukti Parishad and MLA Akhil Gogoi protested against the contentious law and raised slogans against the Centre.

Burning of copies of the CAA by the Congress and by the AJYCP has also been reported from Barpeta and Nalbari respectively.

The 12-hour ‘Sarbatamak Hartal’, called by the 16-party United Opposition Forum Assam (UOFA), did not evoke much response.

Shops and business establishments remained closed in a few districts such as Sivasagar, Golaghat, Nagaon and Kamrup.

The Assam Police have issued notices to opposition parties, asking them to withdraw the hartal over the implementation of the CAA, and warned that “legal action” will be taken against them if they fail to follow the diktat, officials said on Tuesday.

”Notices were served by the Assam Police to ensure that there is no damage to public property and risk to life of the people through any forceful agitation in the state,” Director General of Police G P Singh said.

Criticising the notices issued by the Assam Police, Congress leader Debabrata Saikia said it was ”shameful that the state police department was acting at the behest of the BJP government”.

”We will continue to protest against the implementation of the Act peacefully and democratically,” he said.

In Sonitpur, the district administration has imposed Section 144 of CrPC and prohibited holding of meetings, demonstrations, processions and sloganeering in public places to prevent any untoward incident.

Security has been tightened across the state with additional deployment of police personnel, including commandos, in sensitive areas, while all police stations in the state have been put on an alert.

Patrolling has been intensified and check-posts have been set up on arterial roads in almost all the cities and towns of the state, where protests were held over the issue in 2019.

All Assam Students’ Union and 30 non-political indigenous organisations will also take out torchlight processions in the evening and launch a satyagraha from Wednesday.

An AASU delegation left for New Delhi on Tuesday to pursue the petition against the Act in the Supreme Court and the leaders will return for the procession in the evening, the student organisation’s general secretary Sankar Jyoti Baruah said.

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