Sonowal greeted with black flag at Nalbari, AASU activist injured

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Samujjal condemns police action on peaceful protestors

HT Bureau

NALBARI/GUWAHATI, Jan 1: Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 with the members of All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) showing black flag to of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal at Tihu and Nalbari on the first day of the new year 2020 on Wednesday. As Sonowal’s convoy made its way to Krishnaguru Sevashram at Sarthebari, hundreds of AASU activists showed black flag to the chief minister at Solmara On Dahadi-Ulabari Road in Nalbari District as a mark of protest against the amended citizenship law.

An AASU activist Chandan Bezbaruah, president of Uttar Dharampur Regional Students Union, was injured critically, when the police resorted on lathi charge to disperse protesters from the road. The injured have been shifted to Nalbari Civil Hospital. Meanwhile, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya condemned the lathi charge on AASU activists who have been staging democratic and peaceful protest against the CAA.

“The chief minister has to face such protests in the days to come. We will show black flags to the elected representatives of the people. We have the right for it. But why the police are showing their brutality. The police should stop taking action against the peaceful protesters,” Bhattacharya told reporters in Guwahati. Following the show of dissent against the chief minister, the security was tightened in the places where the chief minister is scheduled to visit.

In another incident, the protesters of Nalbari District Committee of AJYCP waved black flags at the chief minister near Khajara Ashrom on Nalbari-Sarthebari Road at 3.15 pm on Wednesday. Police personnel, who were initially taken by surprise, quickly swung into action, detained 30 protesters and whisked them away from the spot. Two AJYCP activists Hemen Kalita and Dhiraj Kalita were detained in this connection. They have not been released till filing this report.

Sonowal faced black flags for the third time at Sarukhetri in Barpeta by protesters who also played traditional musical instruments such as ‘Bhortal’ (cymbals) and ‘Khol’ (two-sided drum).

Earlier on December 30, during the foundation stone laying ceremony of a primary health centre at Cinnamara tea estate in Jorhat district, three AJYCP workers waved black flags while Union minister Rameswar Teli was delivering his speech in presence of Sonowal.

Meanwhile, the activists of AASU and 30 other ethnic organisations organised lighting of earthen lamps and candle lights in public places in Guwahati and other parts of the state to pay homage to the six youth who were martyred last month in police firing during  protests in Guwahati against Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016.

The protests against the CAA continued in different parts of the state on the first day of the New Year. The students, women, senior citizens came out to the streets to protests against the legislation. In Guwahati, hundreds of students, people from different communities, artists, actors staged protest against the law and demanding repeal of the legislation. A youth artist Sirumoni Doley registered his protest against the Act by drawing the map of Assam and writing the words ‘CAA r pora Axomok Mukti Diyak’ (free Assam from the purview of CAA) with paint on an Assam pride ‘Gamusa’ using the tip of his nose.

In Guwahati, office bearers of the unions of the Cotton University, Gauhati University, Tezpur University and the Dibrugarh University assembled at the gate of the Cotton University and protested against the amended Act.

AASU leaders and many prominent personalities lit lamps at its headquarters in memory of the five “martyrs” of this anti-CAA movement in the evening in Guwahati.

A protest rally was also organised by All Assam Law Students’ Union (AALSU) to the city against the unlawful Act. AALSU general secretary Samsul Hoque said they will continue their protests till the Act is scrapped. “Our silent or loud protests will be continued. It is a democratic war. Our voice is our weapon. If the government is doing to suppress our voice, then our voice will come up more,” Hoque said.

Hirak Jyoti Bora, president, Assam Students’ Forum said the students of all colleges, universities have come out to the streets to protests against the citizenship law. “The government talked with the vice chancellors of the universities and urged the students not to take protests on the streets. But our protests will continue. My examination will start from tomorrow again and we will do our duty as a student and also will do our duty as a citizen of India, son of Assam,” Bora said.

In a unique protest in Sivasagar, several protesters tonsured their heads to protest against the new citizenship law.

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