Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, Jan 9 - Scores of activists today clashed with police while trying to storm the Janata Bhawan as protests continued over the government's move to amend the citizenship law.
Activists of KMSS and AJYCP protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Guwahati on Wednesday. – Photo: Samarendra Sarma
Police in Dispur were taken by surprise in the morning when AJYCP and KMSS activists trooped in at the secretariat gate. Shouting anti-government slogans, they tried to force their way inside the secretariat, climbing the barricades. Security forces were immediately mobilized and the entry to the high security complex blocked.
Police Commissioner Deepak Kumar and senior officials rushed to the area.
“The protestors came in groups, in separate buses. All massed at the entrance in no time,” a police official said.
However, the activists continued to shout slogans against the government and even squatted on road, blocking the traffic on GS Road for nearly an hour.
Police then boarded some of the activists in buses and took them away. Others were chased towards Ganeshguri.
As they proceeded towards Ganeshguri, the protesters dismantled traffic installations and signages. Police opened mild lathi charge to disperse the protesters at Ganeshguri.
AJYCP general secretary Palash Changmai said over 200 protesters were detained by police and later released. A few vehicles used by the activists were also detained, and will be released tomorrow.
"The protest at the Janata Bhavan gate showed that the people of Assam are ready to face bullets and shed blood, but they won't allow the citizenship bill to be passed. The Assamese community was never a subject to any outside force and was always independent. We will not allow anyone to rule over us," Changmai said, warning that the organizations were ready "to go to any extent" if the government continues to "ignore the sentiments of the people."
The main entrance of the secretariat was closed for a few hours, apprehending more demonstrations. An alternative entry was made for the staff and visitors.
Additional security personnel were also deployed at all the entry gates of the secretariat.
Demonstrations were also staged at other locations of the city during the day.