Sonowal takes out padayatra, AASU holds protests across Assam

NALBARI, Dec 20: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal along with his ministers and BJP workers took out a silent padayatra for peace here on Friday, which also saw protests by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and other organisations across Assam against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
Sonowal, accompanied by ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chandramohan Patowary, Bhabesh Kalita, state BJP president Ranjeet Das, Bodoland People’s Front Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary, and AGP and BJP workers took part in the peace rally here.
The AASU on the other hand organised a massive protest meeting, calling it ‘Bajra ninad (war cry)’, here.
The chief minister, addressing the people before the rally, appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony so that “we can take Assam to greater heights.”
He later tweeted that the rally was a “call for peace and harmony, a call that the people of Assam want to continue on the path of development and progress.”
Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the rally was organised to ensure peace and uninterrupted development of Assam, “which its people want.”
He later tweeted that a large number of enthusiastic people joined the march led by the chief minister. “I thank people for your continued faith in us. Your love keep us driving to achieve the best.”
In another tweet, he said the “Affection of people and their spirited participation in the peace march was heart touching. From small children to elderly women – everyone astoundingly reposed their faith once more in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.”
Speakers at the AASU rally said the people had peacefully protested aga-inst the CAA here and there was no need for a peace rally here. Instead, the state government should pressurize the Centre to revoke the CAA, the speakers asserted.
The speakers included AASU organising secretary Himan Barman, and Nalbari Students’ Union general secretary Gunajyoti Pathak, among others.
The protestors, with traditional Assamese ‘gamosas’ tied around their heads, shouted slogans against the CAA.
Protests against the act was also held across the state by different organisations. Silpi Samaj, which is at the forefront of the agitation against the act along with the AASU, organised a massive rally at Hajo in Lower Assam, in which popular singer Zubeen Garg was present.
The All Assam Lawyers Association (AALA) took out a ‘Raj Bhavan chalo’ and submitted a memorandum to Governor Jagadish Mukhi, demanding withdrawal of the act.
A torchlight procession was taken out on Friday evening by the Sanmilita Songram Parishad, a platform of 51 organisations formed to demand the revocation of the CAA. (PTI)