Assam situation in control but challenging: Chief Secretary

Guwahati: Following widespread protests in Assam centering the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, Chief Secretary Alok Kumar on Saturday said the situation in the state is “challenging” and appealed to the people to maintain restraint.

The Chief Secretary and state’s Director General of Police (DGP) Kuladhar Saikia addressed a joint press conference on Saturday and said while the people have a democratic right to protest, certain means of protest may not be right.

“Our concern is that while protests are on, we must also give space to people who have different views. Taking off cloths in public may not be the right way to protest,” said Kumar, adding that the ongoing discourse should not degenerate to violence on streets which will be difficult to control.

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Asked about the law and order situation in Assam, Kumar said, “The current situation is under control but it is challenging. However, the civil and police administration are ready for any situation,” he added.

DGP Kuladhar Saikia said the police have registered a eight cases so far over stray incidents of violence that took place in different parts of Assam during the ongoing agitation against the bill.

Saikia said while three cases have been registered in Tinsukia, two cases were registered in Behali in Biswanath district. Another three cases have been registered in Nalbari district, he added.

“Police are prepared for any situation and there is no need for any apprehension,” said Saikia.

Asked about the recent statement of state Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma that the movement against Citizenship Bill is controlled by Ulfa, the DGP however said that as of now, the police do not have specific input in this regard but they are looking into it.

“We have registered cases in Tinsukia, Nalbari and Behali and arrested several persons. Only after a detailed interrogation we can speak on the involvement of underground outfits in the movement,” he added.


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