NEW DELHI, Aug 8 � It was a day of protest over the violence in BTAD areas, with at least three different agitating groups jostling for space at Jantar Mantar here on Wednesday, as protesters called for restoration of peace.
The ruling Congress Party at the Centre and State came under attack from the BJP, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and Bodo Sahitya Sabha, the three agitating groups, for its failure to control the violence. Senior leaders of BJP including its national president, Nitin Gadkari addressed the rally. While Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind also lined up prominent leaders including film-maker Mahesh Bhatt.
The AGP, not to be outdone, also staged demonstration in front of the Parliament House. Three AGP MPs, including Biren Baishya, Kumar Deepak Das and Joseph Toppo flashed placards deploring the killings. Some of the State BJP MPs and S.K. Bwiswmutiary also joined the protest. Inside the House also, the two Rajya Sabha AGP MPs displayed placards opposing the BJP�s Notice for Short Duration Discussion, pressing instead for a debate under Adjournment Motion.
The BJP turned the protest rally into a big show of force with local Delhi unit chipping in with logistics. Several of the top leaders like L.K.Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley made brief appearances, amidst slogans. Colourful banners like �Bodos refugee in their own land, Congress responsible� dotted the venue, where photos of the victims of the riots were also displayed in what resembled some sort of photo exhibition. Several of BJP�s leaders of the North-east including Sarbananda Sonowal and Tapir Gaon, among others, addressed the rally.
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Mehmood Madani faction, to which AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal belongs, saw several of the minority leaders castigating the Congress Party, alleging that the trust the minorities placed on the ruling party has been lost.
�I have campaigned for the Congress Party in the last election, now I want to ask Congress president, Sonia Gandhi. �Is this what I campaigned for?� Wondered Mahesh Bhatt�, adding that the Muslim community trusted the Congress Party for its secular credentials.
The 12-point charter of demands submitted by the Jamiat to the Prime Minister included call for instruction to Assam Government and State Police force to restore normalcy within a specific time frame. Dissolution of the Bodoland Territorial Council and holding Hagrama Mohilary responsible for the violence also featured in the demand charter.
The Jamiat also wanted the Centre to scrap the Bodo Accord of 2003 in the interest of non-Bodos, a judicial inquiry into the exact cause of the violence, besides adequate relief and early rehabilitation of the affected people.
�Hateful propaganda against the Muslims as Bangladeshi Muslims should stop and all the real facts be placed before the people,� it demanded.
Interestingly, at a less than about 200 metres distance the Bodo Sahitya Sabha also staged a demonstration, raising slogans against Badruddin Ajmal and demanding his arrest.