AASU torch rally against CAA stopped in Guwahati ahead of PM’s visit
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has condemned the Assam Government for preventing members of the union from taking out a peaceful torch rally on Friday evening against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“It is rather inexplicable that our members have been stopped by a vast police force from taking out a non-violent and peaceful torch rally from Swahid Nyash Bhawan here. We condemn the government for preventing our democratic movement through the use of force,” AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya told reporters at the union’s office.
“But no matter how much they try to threaten and use force to stop us, our movement against CAA will continue and even grow stronger,” Bhattacharjya said.
The influential students union had lined up a three-day state-wide programme ahead of and during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (on Saturday) and Union home minister Amit Shah (on Sunday) to Assam, beginning with a torch rally on Friday evening across all the district units of AASU.
On January 23, when the Prime Minister would distribute land patta to over one lakh landless indigenous families at a programme in Sivasagar, the students’ union members would wear black badges.
On January 24, the students’ union planned to hoist black flags and burn copies of the CAA across the state during Shah’s visit.
Earlier, the AASU leaders even confronted senior Assam Police officers for using barricades and force to stop the torch rally.
The Centre had constituted the high-level committee on July 16, 2019, for recommending measures to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
“A year has passed since the recommendations by the high-level committee were submitted to the government, but no measures have been taken to provide safeguards to indigenous people of Assam,” Bhattacharjya rued.
Several groups and parties have flayed the Centre and the Prime Minister’s visit to the state for allotment of land patta to a section of people when there are thousands of homeless families from different indigenous communities struggling to survive.
A case in point here is the over-a-month long agitation of 1,400-odd families of Laika and Dodhia villages in Tinsukia even as the government has constituted a high-level committee to find ways for their relocation and rehabilitation by January 31, 2021.
Irked by the state government‘s inaction, activists of three Mising organisations and the Laika-Dodhia Rehabilitation Committee stormed into the Tinsukia deputy commissioner’s office demanding rehabilitation.
Protesters, holding placards and banners, marched through the road and breached barricades put up by police and entered the Tinsukia DC’s office.
Hundreds of protesters belonging to the two villages have been camping at Lezaihola Borguri in Tinsukia town for over a month now, braving cold weather and coping with the absence of healthcare facilities, and drinking water.
(Edited by Ladiangti Rani)