GUWAHATI: The Army on Tuesday carried out a flag march in a restive Assam town where a mob went on a rampage at the office of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), damaging property, on Monday.
The violence broke out during a procession taken out by lesser-known Nikhil Bharat Bengali Uddastu Samannay Samiti (NBBUSS) in northern Assam’s Silapathar. The mob, mostly NBBUSS members, shouted slogans against the Assamese and the Assam Accord before attacking and vandalising AASU’s local office. The Assam Accord was signed between the Centre and the AASU in 1985 at the end of a six-year long anti-foreigners’ agitation.
Prior to the procession, the NBBUSS had organised a rally where some of its leaders had allegedly delivered provocative speeches. The mob had also vandalised shops and attacked passersby.
The incident came amid increasing protests in the State against BJP-led NDA government’s move to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants of Bangladesh besides Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Official sources said the situation in Silapathar was tense but under control.
“The situation is tense but under control. The police have so far arrested nine people for their alleged role in the violence,” Assam’s parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said.
Worried that the incident could trigger ethnic unrest, the Sarbananda Sonowal government was dealing with the matter very seriously. It directed additional chief secretary V B Pyrelal to carry out a probe into the incident and submit the report within 30 days.
The AASU warned of “dangerous consequences” if all the accused were not arrested.
“We want action against all those who instigated and perpetrated violence. If not, the consequences will be dangerous,” AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya told reporters.