Sankalpa Sikha Yatra ends amidst intensified security

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Nov 16: The Sankalpa Sikha Yatra launched by 70 organisations, including Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) concluded here Friday amidst intensified security measures and deployment of additional forces to prevent the protesters from “Dispur gherao” programme.

The yatra was launched on November 11 from four places of the state- Diphu, Dhola, Dhubri and Jonai to protest against the Union government’s move for passage of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the winter session of the Parliament.

Prohibitory orders were clamped in three police districts of the city and security beefed up in view of the “Dispur gherao” programme called by several organisations on Friday.

Barricades were placed around the secretariat and police and CRPF forces were deployed in large numbers to prevent the protestors from staging their Sankalpa Shikha Yatra against the Bill.

KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi along with members of 70 organisations staged a protest meeting on the premises of the Dispur Press Club, adjacent to the secretariat, accusing the Sarbananda Sonowal-led BJP government of working against the interests of indigenous people of the state by supporting the bill.

The bill threatens the identity, language and culture of the indigenous people and unity of Assam, he charged.

Gogoi further asserted that no force can suppress the voice of protest of the common people.

He also said that they will go to any extent to protect the integrity of the State and no protestor has the fear of death.

He further alleged democracy has taken a backseat in Assam and the present government is bent on imposing autocratic rule.

He also said that as the administration has granted permission for the demonstration, they have all the right to stage a peaceful democratic movement.

He also questioned as to why the Assam Police have made such elaborate arrangement deploying huge contingent of armed personnel at the protest venue.

Other speakers at the meeting alleged that protestors who had taken out motorcycle rallies from different parts of the state were not allowed to proceed to Guwahati.

Stating that the organisers had prior police permission for holding the meeting, the demonstrators accused the administration of imposing the prohibitory order “to muzzle the democratic voice of the citizens”.

Accusing the chief minister of functioning “under the orders of the RSS”, the speakers urged Sonowal to “give up his Hitlerian rule as it was against the people of Assam”.

Bike rallies starting from Jonai, Diphu, Dhola and Dhubri were allowed to proceed to Guwahati one at a time and not in a group as permission for Friday’s meeting was given for a gathering of 1,000 people and it had already exceeded that number, police said.

Protestors travelling from Sadia, Dhubri and Diphu travelling by trains to participate in the protest alleged that they were not allowed to board trains and instead detained to prevent them from proceeding further.

The protestors have rent the air shouting slogans denouncing the Sarbananda Sonowal government.

The protestors of the ‘Sankalpa Sikha Yatra’ were detained at several places and massive barricades have been put at the entry points of Guwahati with huge contingent of Assam Police battalion and CRPF personnel.

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