BJP expels leader for threatening Assamese speaking students in Barak Valley

GUWAHATI, Jan 13: The BJP expelled its Barak Valley leader Pradip Dutta on Sunday, two days after he threatened Assamese speaking students for protesting against the citizenship bill at Assam University (AU).
Dutta has been expelled for breaking the party discipline and taking a “stand against the party’s ideology and position,” the expulsion letter by Assam BJP general secretary Dilip Saikia said.
The letter also said Dutta has been expelled from the primary membership of the party as per the instruction of the state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass with immediate effect.
Dutta had on Friday courted controversy by threatening Assamese speaking students in Bengali-dominated Barak Valley that their admission in AU in Silchar would be barred if they protested against the citizenship (amendment) bill.
Dutta, a local leader of the saffron party known for making controversial statements, issued the threat after a section of students of the AU raised their voice against the controversial bill.
“I warn the Assamese (speaking) students of the university that you don’t indulge in politics and study only.” Think about the future.
“We will be otherwise forced to bar admission of Assamese students in the university,” Dutta was heard saying in local news channels.
“I am writing to the vice chancellor of the university, asking him what step he is taking against the students for opposing the bill,” Dutta had said in Bengali.
Buckling under Dutta’s threat, AU on Saturday banned protests inside the campus with immediate effect without prior permission of the vice chancellor.
In an order, AU Registrar Sanjib Bhattacharjee directed that no procession/dharna or any sort of gathering of people within the campus without prior approval of the authorities is strictly prohibited until further order.
The Cotton University Students’ Union had filed a complaint at the Pan Bazaar police station in Guwahati, while another case was lodged in Nagaon by the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad against Dutta for making the communally provocative statement.
Several organisations, including the All Assam Students’ Union, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and the Students’ Federation of India, have condemned Dutta’s threat.
Protesting against the statement, ULFA (pro-talk) general secretary Anup Chetia had said such people are backed by the “government lobby” to fuel “feelings of communalism” between Assamese and Bengali speaking people.
A different section of AU students on Thursday came out in support of the bill, while another had taken out a candlelight vigil on Wednesday to protest against it. (PTI)