Anti-CAA Protests Erupt in Assam, Police Threatens to Take Action

Guwahati: A day after the notification of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), protests erupted across the state on Tuesday with opposition parties slamming the government accusing them of opening the floodgate for non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh.

However, Assam police spared no stone unturned to quell the protest. They issued notices to opposition parties "ordering" them to "withdraw" the hartal over the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA and warned that "legal action" will be taken against them if they fail to follow the direction.

The 16-party United Opposition Forum, Assam (UOFA), led by the Congress, has announced a state-wide shutdown on Tuesday, despite chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's warning that political parties in the state that they could lose their registrations if found to be organising strikes and protests against the implementation of CAA. "We will not accept the CAA at any cost as it will destroy the Assamese community. It will finish our language, literature, culture and identity," the UOFA said.

Anti-CAA-activist turned Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi said "This is BJP agenda ahead of Lok Sabha polls to divide people and win votes in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura.

The AASU, which had spearheaded a six-year agitation demanding the identification and deportation of illegal immigrants in 1979, said that it will fight the legislation in and outside court.

The AASU members and 30 indigenous non-political organisations burnt copies of the Act and organised protest rallies in different parts of the state, including Guwahati, Sibsagar, Barpeta, Lakhimpur, Nalbari, Dibrugarh, Golaghat and Tezpur.

The AASU leadership while condemning the massive deployment of security forces in the state on Tuesday warned that security forces can’t suppress their democratic agitation. “We will take out protest marches and intensify the agitation in the state,” the AASU leadership asserted.

"It has come to the notice of the undersigned from the Press Note dated 11th March 2024 released by 'United Opposition Forum' that you and your organization have called for 'Sarbatmak Hartal' in Assam on 12th March 2024 from 6 am to 6 pm. Whereas, as a result of the 'Sarbatmak Hartal', there is every likelihood of breach of peace and security leading to disruption of the normal life of peace-loving citizens in the state," said the identical legal notices, dated March 11, sent to the office-bearers of different parties.

It also warned, “Legal action under appropriate provisions of law including Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 will be initiated against you and the total cost of damage to public and private properties will be recovered from you and your Organization.”

Meanwhile, security has been tightened across Assam with additional deployment of police personnel following the announcement of the implementation of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) on Monday.

All police stations have been put on an alert and barricades have been set up in major thoroughfares in almost all the towns of the state, including Guwahati, officials said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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