GUWAHATI: Three FIRs were filed with the police in Guwahati on Thursday against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for her allegation that the ongoing revision of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was a conspiracy to drive out the state’s 1.25 crore Bengalis.
One of the FIRs was filed by a group of well-known lawyers. They alleged the West Bengal CM had committed an offence under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code. The second FIR was filed by a Guwahati-based citizen Kailash Sarma while the third was filed jointly by Pradip Kalita, who is the president of Krishak Sramik Unnyan Parishad and Amarendra Das, the president of Samata Sainik Dal, Assam unit.
Sarma demanded action as per the law against Mamata while Kalita and Das demanded her arrest alleging that she had defamed the Supreme Court, under whose directing monitoring the NRC is being updated, and for her alleged attempt to fan communal passion.
RTI activist and peasants’ leader Akhil Gogoi demanded that the West Bengal CM withdraw her remarks by tendering an apology to the people of Assam.
Politicians, cutting across party lines, are equally miffed. While some criticised her assertions, others demanded action against her.
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Mamata’s accusation spoke highly of her bankruptcy of knowledge. He was confident the Supreme Court would take action against her for defaming it.
Lok Sabha member and the chief of All India United Democratic Front, Maulana Badruddin Ajmal said Mamata had made an irresponsible comment without knowing facts.
“The NRC authorities should file an FIR against the West Bengal CM…If need be, the state government would talk to her,” BJP state unit president Ranjit Dass said.
Former Congress Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Mamata was apparently misguided. The updation of NRC started due to the initiative of previous Congress government in the state. The objective is not to drive out the Bengalis, but the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants,” he said.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which has for long been spearheading a movement demanding the detection and deportation of the immigrants, also criticised Mamata.
“NRC is being updated under the hawk’s eye of the Supreme Court. The exercise is not directed against any community,” Samujjal Bhattacharya, advisor to AASU, said. Protests against Mamata were staged in several parts of the state on Thursday.
At a public meeting at Birbhum district of West Bengal on Wednesday, Mamata had alleged: “Bengalis are being threatened with eviction from Assam, being told your name not there on list...Don't divide and rule. If there is trouble in Assam, there will be trouble in Bengal. We are neighbouring states”.