245 sedition cases filed in Assam since 2016: Minister

Guwahati, Feb 4 (PTI) The Assam government on Monday said as many as 245 sedition cases were registered across 17 districts since the BJP-led alliance came to power in the state in 2016.
In a written reply in the assam assembly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said 245 sedition cases were filed against various individuals and banned organisations since May 26, 2016, when the present coalition government took charge.
The front page of the reply mentioned the figure as 251 in 19 districts, but in the annexure attached to it with district-wise details, there was repetition of the districts Biswanath (5 cases) and Sadiya (1 case).
Excluding these two districts, the actual number of sedition cases filed in the state during this period stood at 245 in 17 districts.
Replying to a query by the Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia of the Congress, the minister said sedition cases have been filed against militant groups such as ULFA(I), NDFB(S), NDFB(B), KLO, NSLA, NSLA(AT), UPLFS, NSCN, DHD, DHNA, NSCN(IM), ZUF and ATF, among others.
Such cases were also registered against several individuals, Patowary said on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who also holds the Home portfolio.
Two sedition cases were slapped on RTI activist-cum- peasant leader Akihil Gogoi in Dibrugarh district and Guwahati city.
Along with Gogoi, cases were registered last month against eminent intellectual and Sahitya Akademi awardee Hiren Gohain and journalist Manjit Mahanta for their comments on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Patowary, however, did not elaborate on the alleged offences of the accused, apart from providing the names of the individuals and a few members of the militant groups.
Kokrajhar district topped the list, where 88 cases were filed against NDFB(S), KLO and NSLA(AT), he informed the House.
It was followed by Chirang with 43 cases and Tinsukia with 40 cases, during the last two years and eight months, he said.
The minister said that Cachar, Golaghat and Dima Hasao were the other districts with double-digit sedition cases — 19, 18 and 11, respectively.
The other districts that saw registration of sedition case were Darrang (2), South Salmara (1), Dibrugarh (1), Sadiya (1), Hojai (1), Biswanath (5), Nalbari (2), Dhemaji (5), Charaideo (5), Nagaon (2) and Guwahati city (1), he added.