GUWAHATI/KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Assam on January 10 has been cancelled, ostensibly due to the ongoing protests in the state against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).The PM was to declare the ‘Khelo India’ Games in the state capital open. The state BJP leadership confirmed this but did not cite any reason.
“He (PM) was approached. He was scheduled to come but the visit now has been cancelled,” Assam BJP spokesman Dewan Dhruba Jyoti Maral told this newspaper without going into details.Earlier, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) had warned that Modi would face protests if he visits the state to inaugurate the Games.
“We have nothing against ‘Khelo India’. But if the PM comes, there will be protests,” chief advisor to AASU, Samujjal Bhattacharya, had said recently.
The Kolkata Police has also received an alert from the Intelligence Bureau about a series of snap demonstration on the PM’s route during his Kolkata visit on January 11 and 12.
Modi is scheduled to attend a programme at Netaji Indoor Stadium on January 12 to mark the 150th year of Kolkata Port Trust (KPT). In a message, the central agency also identified some of the pockets where political parties and students’ unions, who are protesting against the attack on JNU students, the CAA, as well as the Centre’s proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), are likely to show black flags to the PM and shout ‘go-back’ slogans.
“Sleuths of the Special Branch, too, gathered information about demonstrations during the Prime Minister’s Kolkata visit. We will deploy adequate police personnel on the PM’s route to prevent any untoward incident,” a senior of Kolkata Police said.
Protest at Shanti Niketan
Swapan Dasgupta, Visva-Bharati V-C Bidyut Chakraborty and many others on Wednesday had to remain confined to a building of the central university, as hundreds of Left leaning students staged a sit-in outside. West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar expressed concern over the situation.
BJP warns Mamata govt
“There are nearly 70 people locked inside a room...for the crime of attending an official, university-convened lecture by me on CAA...,” Dasgupta tweeted. Kailash Vijayvargiya warned the government that if anything happened to Dasgupta, the consequences would be serious.