Cong takes out anti-CAA ‘padyatra’ in Assam

GUWAHATI, Dec 22: Protest against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) continued on Sunday with the opposition Congress kicking off an 800-km long ‘padyatra’ from Sadiya to Dhubri.
Sadiya is a far east town of Assam, and Dhubri is the headquarters of the western most district, which is located along the India-Bangladesh border.
“We have been stating it very clearly that Assam will never accept this act. It is anti-Assam and anti-Northeast. Congress party is with the people of Assam,” Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora said.
Addressing a huge crowd, the Rajya Sabha MP said the agitation will be further intensified till the act is repealed.
Meanwhile, a public funeral service in memory of teenager Sam Stafford, who was killed in firing by security forces, was organised in Guwahati on Sunday.
Hundreds of people, including All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) leaders, celebrities, writers, artistes and general public, attended the function and condemned the “government’s brutality.”
“The chief minister and his forces are engaged in killing innocent children. The minor, Sam, is the first martyr of the anti-CAA movement. We will not forget him and we will not sit down until the act is repealed,” AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath said at the function.
Protest marches were organised at several tea gardens of upper Assam, while a huge gathering against the law took place in Rowta, in Udalguri district.
People and artistes came out in large numbers in Guwahati and other places during the day.
Assam has witnessed one of the worst violent protests by the public in its history with three rail stations, a post office, a bank, a bus terminus, shops, dozens of vehicles, and many other public properties set ablaze or totally damaged.
Already five persons, including four in firing by security forces, have lost their lives since 11 December.
After the Rajya Sabha passed citizenship amendment bill on 11 December, the state erupted in uncontrolled protests, in which agitators engaged in pitch battles in almost every major city or town, forcing the administration to impose curfew.
Several towns and cities, were placed under indefinite curfew, including Guwahati, the epicentre of protests, besides Dibrugarh, Tezpur and Dhekiajuli. Night curfew was imposed in Jorhat, Golaghat, Tinsukia and Charaideo districts.
With the situation returning to normal, curfew has been lifted from several cities and was relaxed in the rest. (PTI)