GUWAHATI, Feb 13 - The Pratibandhi Suraksha Sanstha, Assam, Blind Association, Assam, All Assam Blind Students’ Union and All BTAD Pratibandhi Suraksha Sanstha today slammed the State government for refuting, in the floor of the State Assembly, the allegation that police had lathicharged physically challenged protesters during a protest in Dispur in October last.
On February 8, Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary in the State Assembly, while rejecting the charge that protesters belonging to the Pratibandhi Suraksha Sanstha had been lathicharged during their protest on October 5 last year, stated that, in fact, it was the protesters who had pelted stones at the police and also broken the security barricade.
Replying to a call attention by Congress member Rupjyoti Kurmi, Patowary, speaking on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who is in charge of the Home Department – said that while staging a protest on various demands, the protesters had not only violated norms but also engaged in a scuffle with the security personnel present at that time.
“ADCP (East) Amitabh Basumatary did not order any baton charge on the protesters and the allegations brought against him are baseless. The protesters were injured only when police had tried to put them in a bus in an attempt to control the situation,” he added.
Patowary also informed the House that the State Police Accountability Commission was conducting an inquiry into the incident, apart from two different cases taken up by the National Human Rights Commission and the State Human Rights Commission.
Meanwhile, the organisations working for the rights of differently-abled persons of the State today alleged that Patowary misled the Assembly by making such statements and urged the Speaker to take action against him.
The organisations, in a statement, also slammed Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for terming the State budget as “differently-abled friendly.”
“Last year, the State government had allocated Rs 250 crore in the budget for monthly stipend of differently-abled persons. But, in the current budget, the amount decreased to Rs 200 crore. Moreover, to establish one university and two colleges for the differently-abled, the Central government directed the Assam government on three occasions, but, no action has been taken yet,” they alleged.