Anti-CAA protests in Assam, effigies of Modi and Amit Shah burnt

Anti CAA protests in Delhi. [File Photo]

In Assam, there are widespread protests against the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The demonstrations erupted on Tuesday, featuring the burning of effigies of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and copies of the controversial law, PTI reported.

Various groups, including the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), Congress, and CPI(M), actively participated in these protests. In Lakhimpur, AJYCP members burned effigies of Modi and Amit Shah. Meanwhile, the Congress protested in different parts of the district, setting copies of the CAA ablaze.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assam assembly, Debabrata Saikia, led Congress workers in a demonstration in Guwahati, where copies of the Act were also burned, the news agency reported.

Protests were not confined to political groups, as students from different colleges organised demonstrations outside their respective institutions in the city. In Sivasagar district, activists of Raijor Dal, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Chatra Mukti Parishad, and MLA Akhil Gogoi raised their voices against the contentious law, expressing their opposition through slogans and protests.

Reports also indicate the burning of CAA copies by the Congress in Barpeta and AJYCP in Nalbari.

Despite the widespread dissent, the 12-hour ‘Sarbatamak Hartal’ called by the 16-party United Opposition Forum Assam (UOFA) did not elicit a significant response. In certain districts such as Sivasagar, Golaghat, Nagaon, and Kamrup, shops and business establishments remained closed during the strike period.

However, the Assam Police issued notices to opposition parties, urging them to withdraw the hartal over CAA implementation. The police warned of “legal action” if they failed to comply with this directive, emphasizing the need to prevent damage to public property and ensure the safety of citizens during protests.

This move faced criticism from Congress leader Debabrata Saikia, who deemed it “shameful” that the state police department was allegedly acting in favor of the BJP government. Despite the notices, the opposition expressed its commitment to peaceful and democratic protests against the Act.

In Sonitpur, the district administration imposed Section 144 of CrPC to restrict public gatherings and demonstrations, aiming to prevent untoward incidents. Security measures were heightened across the state, with additional police personnel deployed, including commandos, in sensitive areas. All police stations were put on high alert, and patrolling increased, with check-posts set up on major roads where protests occurred in 2019.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and 30 non-political indigenous organizations planned torchlight processions in the evening and announced the launch of a satyagraha from the following day. An AASU delegation left for New Delhi to pursue a petition against the CAA in the Supreme Court, with leaders intending to return for the evening procession.

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