GUWAHATI, July 17 - Criticising the State Government for what it termed as mishandling of the public agitation in Raha over the AIIMS issue, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has demanded a judicial enquiry into Friday�s lathicharge and police firing on protesters in which one person died and several others were injured.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, APCC president (in-charge) Ripun Bora termed the police action on protesters as �barbaric� and said that the BJP-led State Government is bent on crushing the democratic struggle of the common citizens by use of force.
�This shows the totalitarian streak of BJP. The party which came to power making tall promises is now bent on suppressing the democratic aspirations of the common people,� said Bora.
He added, �The tragic incident could have been avoided as the protest had been announced much earlier and the administration was aware about it. We want a judicial enquiry into the entire episode.�
Bora also castigated the BJP and the newly formed North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) for the call of a �Congress-mukt Northeast�.
�This shows the dictatorial tendencies of the BJP. In a democracy, there will be opposition parties and also States ruled by opposition parties. What Congress party has achieved for the Northeast has not been done by any other party� Amit Shah should first study the history of Northeast before calling for a Congress-mukt Northeast,� he said.
�If BJP is so interested in helping the Northeast to achieve its rightful place through expansion of NEDA, then why did the BJP-ruled Centre removed the Special Category State status to Assam and the other States of the region, why was the NEIIPP and 90-10 funding pattern removed, why were so many centrally funded schemes scrapped? If BJP is now calling for NEDA, why was there so much discrimination against Northeast during the last two years by the Centre,� Bora added.
Speaking on the occasion, Debabrata Saikia, leader of Congress Legislature Party and leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, said that he has seen reports in the social media that the BJP was trying to poach Congress MLAs by offering them ministry and other benefits.
�BJP is trying to bring the Hindi-belt politics to Assam,� said Saikia.
He added that Congress MLAs will raise various issues including the Raha incident and auction of small oilfields in the Budget Session of the Legislative Assembly which will start from July 18.
Meanwhile, an interactive meeting attended by 27 senior-most leaders of the APCC was held at Rajiv Bhawan on Saturday. The meeting discussed ways to rejuvenate the party following its debacle in the recent Assembly polls.