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NRC, CAA hogged headlines in Assam this year

By Sanjoy Ray

GUWAHATI, Dec 29 - The year 2019 will go down as one of the most eventful years of the decade that kept the political class on its toes all throughout. From the publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) that excluded over 1.9 million people, to the large-scale protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) that crippled the law-and-order machinery, Assam remained on the edge.

While the publication of the NRC on August 31 led to a clear divide among various groups, including the political parties, with many refusing to accept the registry in its present form, the ruling BJP found its back against the wall due to the agitation surrounding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was eventually passed by both Houses of Parliament despite stiff opposition.

With imposition of curfew and suspension of Internet services in the state for the first time since internet was introduced in the region, Assam became the cynosure of all eyes due to the anti-CAA protest. The protest which turned violent in several places led to the death of five persons. The anti-CAA agitation also forced the State government to postpone the much-anticipated Indo-Japan Summit where the Prime Ministers of both countries were scheduled to meet and discuss bilateral issues including investment opportunities.

In the aftermath of the violence vis-a-vis the anti-CAA protests, KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi was arrested by the NIA under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, charging him with indulging in anti-national activities. Gogoi is currently in judicial custody.

Earlier in the year, despite facing stiff opposition due to the CAB, the BJP went on to bag nine out of 14 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, with the Congress managing only three.

Another disturbing development was the loss of human lives and property in the floods. The devastating floods accounted for nearly 100 lives besides rendering lakhs homeless.

The efficacy of the healthcare facilities once again came under the scanner after the death of over 350 persons after being diagnosed with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). The recurring incidents of deaths over the years due to AES have emerged as a major pain in the neck for the health sector.

More than 150 persons, mostly from the tea garden areas of Jorhat and Golaghat, lost their lives after consuming poisonous alcohol earlier this year. Due to the sheer number of deaths, the incident was marked as one of the worst hooch tragedies in the state.

However, the year 2019 brought a lot of cheer for the Assamese film industry. Movies like Kanchanjanga (directed by Zubeen Garg) and Ratnakar (directed by Jatin Bora). Both the movies were huge money churners and broke all box office records in the state. Bhaskar Hazarika�s Aamis too hogged the limelight, and drew appreciation from critics for its out-of-the-box treatment.

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NRC, CAA hogged headlines in Assam this year

GUWAHATI, Dec 29 - The year 2019 will go down as one of the most eventful years of the decade that kept the political class on its toes all throughout. From the publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) that excluded over 1.9 million people, to the large-scale protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) that crippled the law-and-order machinery, Assam remained on the edge.

While the publication of the NRC on August 31 led to a clear divide among various groups, including the political parties, with many refusing to accept the registry in its present form, the ruling BJP found its back against the wall due to the agitation surrounding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was eventually passed by both Houses of Parliament despite stiff opposition.

With imposition of curfew and suspension of Internet services in the state for the first time since internet was introduced in the region, Assam became the cynosure of all eyes due to the anti-CAA protest. The protest which turned violent in several places led to the death of five persons. The anti-CAA agitation also forced the State government to postpone the much-anticipated Indo-Japan Summit where the Prime Ministers of both countries were scheduled to meet and discuss bilateral issues including investment opportunities.

In the aftermath of the violence vis-a-vis the anti-CAA protests, KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi was arrested by the NIA under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, charging him with indulging in anti-national activities. Gogoi is currently in judicial custody.

Earlier in the year, despite facing stiff opposition due to the CAB, the BJP went on to bag nine out of 14 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, with the Congress managing only three.

Another disturbing development was the loss of human lives and property in the floods. The devastating floods accounted for nearly 100 lives besides rendering lakhs homeless.

The efficacy of the healthcare facilities once again came under the scanner after the death of over 350 persons after being diagnosed with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). The recurring incidents of deaths over the years due to AES have emerged as a major pain in the neck for the health sector.

More than 150 persons, mostly from the tea garden areas of Jorhat and Golaghat, lost their lives after consuming poisonous alcohol earlier this year. Due to the sheer number of deaths, the incident was marked as one of the worst hooch tragedies in the state.

However, the year 2019 brought a lot of cheer for the Assamese film industry. Movies like Kanchanjanga (directed by Zubeen Garg) and Ratnakar (directed by Jatin Bora). Both the movies were huge money churners and broke all box office records in the state. Bhaskar Hazarika�s Aamis too hogged the limelight, and drew appreciation from critics for its out-of-the-box treatment.