Guwahati, February 4: As many as 245 cases of ‘deshdroh’ or offences against the state, which also includes sedition, have been registered in Assam since the BJP-led government came to power in 2016.
Cabinet minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, in a written reply in the Assam assembly, gave out details of such cases on Monday, in a response to a question by Debabrata Saikia, the leader of opposition. The response did not have specific sections of the IPC under which these cases were registered.
Patowary was responding on behalf of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal who also holds the home portfolio.
According to National Crime Records Bureau’s annual report, in 2015, only 22 cases of offences against the state which include sections 121, 121 (A), 122, 123 and 124 (A) of the IPC, were registered in Assam.
In January, the Assam Police booked public intellectual Hiren Gohain, activist Akhil Gogoi and journalist Manjit Mahanta on charges of sedition for their remarks in a public meeting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
This seems to be the only case of ‘offences against the state’ registered in Guwahati. According to Patowary’s response, 88 cases, the highest in the state have been registered in Kokrajhar in Bodo Territotial Administrative districts where insurgent outfit, the NDFB(S) is still active.
Another 40 cases have been registered in Tinsukia in Upper Assam, a district which shares a border with Arunachal Pradesh and falls on the route frequented by insurgent outfits like the ULFA(I), the NDFB(S), the NSCN(Khaplang), NSCN(I-M), among others.
Even as their activities have come down, multiple insurgent outfits operate in the state, many of whom, including the ULFA(I), the NDFB (S), the NDFB(B) among others, feature in Patowary’s response.
Kuladhar Saikia, director general of police, Assam, refused to comment.
Debabrata Saikia said, “The ruling party is harassing people by slapping such charges. It is undeclared emergency.” (Courtesy: HT)