GUWAHATI: The outrage over Congress leader and former minister Nilamoni Sen Deka’s indecent comments against HRD Minister Smriti Irani took a violent turn on Monday with BJP and Congress workers waging pitched battles in the State capital. The BJP stepped up its demand for the arrest of Deka and Congress legislator Roopjyoti Kurmi, who made derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Clashes broke out when a group of BJP workers gheraoed the Congress office. Congress workers came out in large numbers and both sides were seen hurling stones at each other.
Irani was at the time addressing a party rally in Deka’s constituency, Nalbari. She urged BJP workers to give a befitting reply to the Congress in next year’s Assembly polls. Taking on the Gogoi government, she said, “There have been 75,000 cases of atrocities against women (in Assam) during the last 10 years. Attacks against women have increased under the corrupt Congress government.” In an indirect reference to Deka’s comments, she alleged, “Tarun Gogoi has downgraded the status of women in Assam. There is only goondagardi and no development.”
In Guwahati, police arrested four BJP workers and detained 11, all of them women. Several injured are undergoing treatment. The Congress and BJP blamed each other for the violence. “Why did the BJP attack our office? We have seen Subramanian Swamy making controversial comments from time to time but we never attacked their office. The action of the BJP workers was certainly against the spirit of democracy,” Pradesh Congress Committee chief Anjan Dutta said.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi admitted Deka’s comments were against the tenets of Assamese culture. “I have asked the senior leader to apologise,” he added. Deka withdrew his comments late Sunday night but the BJP demanded he and Kurmi be arrested and given exemplary punishment. It also sought an apology from the CM to the people of the State.
FIR filed against deka
An FIR was registered against Congress MLA Nilamoni Sen Deka on Monday for making controversial remarks against HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to police, the complaint was filed by a person named Benu Dhar Nath of Kamalpur at Kamalpur police station. The police has forwarded the case to Rangia sub-divisional judicial magistrate’s court.