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CM shown black flags by anti-CAA protesters

 DIBRUGARH, Jan 15 (PTI): Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was shown black flags by All Assam Students' Union (AASU) activists protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Dibrugarh district on Wednesday.

The chief minister had landed at Dibrugarh airport and was on the way to his hometown Chabua in the district to celebrate 'Bhogali Bihu' harvest festival with his family when a group of AASU activists rushed towards his convoy in Mohanbari Tiniali area, waving black flags and raising slogans against him and the Act.

The protestors were heard shouting 'Sarbananda, Go Back', 'Sonowal Murdabad', 'CAA aami na maanu' (We do not accept CAA) and 'Jai Aai Asom' (Glory to Mother Assam).

Police overpowered the protestors and prevented them from reaching the convoy.

This is the second incident in a fortnight of anti-CAA agitators showing black flags to the chief minister.

Activists of the AASU and the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) had shown black flags to Sonowal at several places in Nalbari and Barpeta districts when the chief minister was travelling by road from Guwahati to the ashram of religious preacher Krishnaguru in Barpeta on January 1.

Earlier in the day, AASU activists burnt a 50-feet tall effigy of Sonowal in Dibrugarh town.

People celebrating 'Bhogali Bihu' burnt copies of the Act in bonfires of 'Mejis' (temporary structures made of bamboo, hay and wood) lit on the occasion, following a call given by the AASU, AJYCP, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Assam Nagarik Mancha and civil society members.

Protests against the Act have been raging across the state for more than a month.

The protests had turned violent after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in both Houses of the Parliament and given assent by the President in December last year, making it an Act.

Five persons were killed during violent protests against the Act after which curfew was imposed in some districts and internet services suspended, which were later lifted.

The stir has been peaceful since then.

CAA seeks to grant Indian citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh fleeing persecution there.

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