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Cong demands judicial probe into violence during anti-Citizenship Act stir

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 16 - Principal opposition Congress party today demanded a judicial inquiry into the violence that took place during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA).

The Congress also said that if it comes to power in Assam in the 2021 Assembly elections, then the government headed by the party will not allow CAA to be implemented in the State, in case the Act itself is not scrapped by then.

Addressing a press conference here, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora also dismissed the ruling BJP�s charge that the principal opposition party is behind the violence and vandalism, alleging in turn that Sangh Parivar elements were in fact responsible for such incidents.

�We saw that the police resorted to unprovoked firing on peaceful agitators. We demand a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the High Court to find out the truth behind the entire series of events. None of the victims of police firing were involved in acts of violence and vandalism. Those who were injured in the police action and were admitted to hospitals are not receiving proper treatment. The government should arrange the best possible treatment for the injured free of cost, if necessary by airlifting them outside the State,� Bora said.

He demanded Rs 25 lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of each of the five persons who died in police firing during the violence and also a government job to one member of each victim�s family, as well as compensation to those who sustained serious injuries.

Bora claimed that the BJP is now politically isolated in Assam. �They (BJP) are getting apprehensive. They want to sabotage the ongoing agitation. So they are targeting the Congress and accusing us of inciting violence. We call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to hold an inquiry by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court and prove that Congress is behind the violence. Let them prove it,� said the APCC chief.

He added, �Modi is saying that Congress is behind the violence and that we are behind the entire agitation. We believe that the BJP-RSS-Sangh Parivar is in fact indulging in such activities of violence by stealth. The government and its agencies are behind the vandalism. Are Samujjal Bhattacharyya or Zubeen Garg and the lakhs of people agitating against the CAA members of the Congress? Are the satradhikars of Majuli and leaders of the Nagarik Samaj members of the Congress? Modi should answer this question.�

Bora said that the Congress party had opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or the CAB since it was first introduced in Parliament back in 2016. �We opposed it both inside Parliament as well as outside of it. But we always protested peacefully and in a democratic manner,� said the Congress leader.

He accused the BJP of trying to bring about a division among the ranks of those participating in the ongoing agitation and alleged that police are targeting members of the Congress and its various wings.

�Members of the Congress, Youth Congress and NSUI are being arrested. The government is trying to intimidate us by misusing the administrative machinery. Such type of state terror will not intimidate us. Use of police force will not bring the agitation to a close,� Bora said.

The APCC also demanded immediate and unconditional release of KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi, pro-talk ULFA leader Jiten Dutta and others arrested during the ongoing agitation.

�We will continue with our struggle against the CAA on two fronts. On one hand, we will fight the legal battle against CAA in the Supreme Court. And secondly, the Congress party will continue with the democratic and peaceful agitation against the Act. And if we come to power in the State in the 2021 Assembly elections, then our government will not allow CAA to be implemented in Assam, in case the Act is not scrapped by then,� Bora added. The Congress also announced its next series of agitational programme.

The party will organise sit-in demonstrations in all blocks, mandals and districts across the State on December 19.

A memorandum with signatures of 20 lakh citizens calling for scrapping the CAA will be sent to President Ramnath Kovind on December 22. That very same day the party will also start a State-wide padyatra from Sadiya.

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Cong demands judicial probe into violence during anti-Citizenship Act stir

GUWAHATI, Dec 16 - Principal opposition Congress party today demanded a judicial inquiry into the violence that took place during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA).

The Congress also said that if it comes to power in Assam in the 2021 Assembly elections, then the government headed by the party will not allow CAA to be implemented in the State, in case the Act itself is not scrapped by then.

Addressing a press conference here, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora also dismissed the ruling BJP�s charge that the principal opposition party is behind the violence and vandalism, alleging in turn that Sangh Parivar elements were in fact responsible for such incidents.

�We saw that the police resorted to unprovoked firing on peaceful agitators. We demand a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the High Court to find out the truth behind the entire series of events. None of the victims of police firing were involved in acts of violence and vandalism. Those who were injured in the police action and were admitted to hospitals are not receiving proper treatment. The government should arrange the best possible treatment for the injured free of cost, if necessary by airlifting them outside the State,� Bora said.

He demanded Rs 25 lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of each of the five persons who died in police firing during the violence and also a government job to one member of each victim�s family, as well as compensation to those who sustained serious injuries.

Bora claimed that the BJP is now politically isolated in Assam. �They (BJP) are getting apprehensive. They want to sabotage the ongoing agitation. So they are targeting the Congress and accusing us of inciting violence. We call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to hold an inquiry by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court and prove that Congress is behind the violence. Let them prove it,� said the APCC chief.

He added, �Modi is saying that Congress is behind the violence and that we are behind the entire agitation. We believe that the BJP-RSS-Sangh Parivar is in fact indulging in such activities of violence by stealth. The government and its agencies are behind the vandalism. Are Samujjal Bhattacharyya or Zubeen Garg and the lakhs of people agitating against the CAA members of the Congress? Are the satradhikars of Majuli and leaders of the Nagarik Samaj members of the Congress? Modi should answer this question.�

Bora said that the Congress party had opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or the CAB since it was first introduced in Parliament back in 2016. �We opposed it both inside Parliament as well as outside of it. But we always protested peacefully and in a democratic manner,� said the Congress leader.

He accused the BJP of trying to bring about a division among the ranks of those participating in the ongoing agitation and alleged that police are targeting members of the Congress and its various wings.

�Members of the Congress, Youth Congress and NSUI are being arrested. The government is trying to intimidate us by misusing the administrative machinery. Such type of state terror will not intimidate us. Use of police force will not bring the agitation to a close,� Bora said.

The APCC also demanded immediate and unconditional release of KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi, pro-talk ULFA leader Jiten Dutta and others arrested during the ongoing agitation.

�We will continue with our struggle against the CAA on two fronts. On one hand, we will fight the legal battle against CAA in the Supreme Court. And secondly, the Congress party will continue with the democratic and peaceful agitation against the Act. And if we come to power in the State in the 2021 Assembly elections, then our government will not allow CAA to be implemented in Assam, in case the Act is not scrapped by then,� Bora added. The Congress also announced its next series of agitational programme.

The party will organise sit-in demonstrations in all blocks, mandals and districts across the State on December 19.

A memorandum with signatures of 20 lakh citizens calling for scrapping the CAA will be sent to President Ramnath Kovind on December 22. That very same day the party will also start a State-wide padyatra from Sadiya.