The Assam government registered 251 sedition cases following the BJP-led state government’s rise to power in the state in 2016, the Parliament of India was informed on Monday, a report by PTI stated.
According to the report, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, in a written reply to a query, stated that 251 sedition cases were filed against various individuals and banned organisations since May 26, 2016 when the present coalition government took charge.
The query had been presented by the Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia of the Congress, the report said.
Patowary said sedition cases have been filed against militant groups such as ULFA(I), NDFB (S), NDFB(B), KLO, NSLA, NSLA(AT), UPLFS, DHD, DHNA, NSCN(IM), ZUF and ATF among others.
Such cases were also registered against several individuals, Patowary said on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal who also holds the Home portfolio, as per the report.
The report stated that two sedition cases have been registered against RTI activist and peasant leader Akihil Gogoi in Dibrugarh district and Guwahati city, and several more against revered and eminent intellectual and Sahitya Akademi awardee Hiren Gohain and journalist Manjit Mahanta for their comments on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The bill has been criticized for being communal and being used by BJP to settle Hindus from neighbouring countries in the border regions at the cost of the natives.
Recently, Chief Minister of Manipur N Biren Singh appealed to the people not to panic over the bill following a 24-hour general strike that was called on January 30.
The recently formed Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MPACAB), with representation from 66 organisations, had called the general strike demanding the controversial bill be withdrawn.
(With inputs from PTI)