Staff Reporter/City Correspondent/Correspondent GUWAHATI/JORABAT, Dec 10 - Expressing its solidarity towards the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Bill movement, the artiste fraternity of Assam today took out a protest rally in Guwahati while threatening to boycott all the subsequent government events till the Bill is scrapped.
Artistes taking out a rally in Guwahati during the 11-hour North East bandh called by NESO against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, on Tuesday. – AT photo
Among those who expressed their discontentment included National Award winning filmmaker Jahnu Baruah, who has withdrawn his film Bhoga Khirikee (Broken Window) from the Assam State Film Awards 2019 scheduled for December 26 and 27. His protest came after the Lok Sabha passed the Bill late last night. The Bill will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow.
Artistes including actors, singers and musicians today took part in a protest procession. Named ‘Shilpir Hunkar’, the procession originated from Chandmari and culminated near Swahid Nyas Bhawan at Uzan Bazar.
Throughout the entire stretch, the members of the artiste community shouted anti-CAB and anti-government slogans. The artistes also appealed to the people of the State to oppose the Bill tooth and nail.
“If the interests of the Assamese people are not given due importance, the government would carry a blot on its face,” actress Barasha Rani Bishaya said.
Singer Dikhsu said, “We cannot accept the Bill which will turn the Assamese people into a minority within the State. We will not accept it at any cost.”
The artistes also urged the members of the fraternity to boycott government functions, including the Indo-Japan summit to be held in December 15 here.
Music director Manash Robin, singer Mahendra Hazarika, actor Utpal Das and others were also present in the protest.
Yesterday, popular Assamese actor Ravi Sarma resigned from the primary membership of the BJP in protest against the Bill. Meanwhile, popular actor Jatin Bora, who is also a member of the saffron party, also opposed the Bill and asked the government to scrap it in the greater interest of the Assamese people.
Singer Zubeen Garg, who has been continuously opposing the Bill, was recently seen taking a part in a protest programme organised by the students of Cotton University.
Meanwhile, the entire Dimoria region today wore a deserted look in view of the 11-hour bandh called by the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Jorabat and Sonapur areas on the outskirts of Guwahati city where the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) – a constituent of NESO – has a strong grip, came to a complete standstill as the bandh supporters blocked the national highways and other roads by burning tyres.
Bandh supporters from various political as well as apolitical organisations took out processions and organised sit-in protests at different places blocking roads for hours since morning.
The entire Dimoria region was engulfed in burning protests with the marching protesters shouting slogans like ‘CAB Aamak Nalage’ (‘We don’t want CAB’), ‘CAB Bateel Korok’ (‘Reject CAB’), ‘BJP Go Back’, ‘Himanta Biswa Sarma Hai Hai’, ‘Joi Aai Axom’, etc.
Later in the evening people of Jorabat and nearby areas took out a massive torchlight rally. Another torchlight rally was taken out by a large number of people this evening at Khetri.
On the other hand, 102 people were detained under different police stations amid massive protests that took place today in every nook and corner of the city against the tabling of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament.
Revealing this, Commissioner of Police Deepak Kumar said that the eastern part of the city accounted for the highest number of detained persons. According to him, police resorted to lathicharge in four to five places of the city and used teargas in four places to control the situation.
No damage to public property was reported from any part of the city. However, a number of civilians along with five police personnel sustained injuries during stone-pelting incidents during the bandh.
According to the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Nabaneet Mahanta, the injuries that the five police personnel sustained during the stone-pelting that took place in the Down Town area of the city, were not serious.
Today, the city police arranged special vehicles for passengers to ply between the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport and Paltan Bazar. According to the Commissioner of Police, under strict security arrangements, altogether 18 teams of passengers travelled between these two points. The same type of arrangement was made for some VIPs as well.
Police sources stated that a section of bandh supporters pelted stones on vehicles in Satmail and Saukuchi areas. At Hatigaon, protesters set a scooter on fire. A number of tyre-burning incidents also took place across the city during the bandh.
On the RG Baruah Road, protesters tried to restrict movement of vehicles by placing large pieces of wood in the middle of the road. At Adabari, police resorted to lathicharge and detained 10 protesters to control an agitating group.
According to Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Suprotiv Lal Baruah, apart from the Adabari incident, the situation across the western part of the city remained normal, despite the fact that a number of torchlight rallies were brought out in this area.