Guwahati, February 19: Social activist Sandeep Pandey and rights activist Medha Patkar on Wednesday alleged that the anti-CAA agitation by All Assam Students’ Union(AASU) is being carried out in “understanding” with the state government, which does not allow freedom of expression and speech.
Pandey alleged that there was a “deep conspiracy” by the BJP-led government in Assam behind the arrest of peasant leader Akhil Gogoi, who has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
He said that during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls only KMSS led by Gogoi was campaigning against the BJP, while the students union was completely silent.
“When I came last time in December 2018, the anti- Citizenship Amendment Bill movement was being led by Akhil Gogoi’s Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti(KMSS) and 70 other groups.
AASU was nowhere in the picture.
“After Akhil’s arrest, AASU suddenly came into the picture and now they are leading it. We see a conspiracy here … The agitation by AASU is being carried out in an understanding with the government,” Pandey, a Magsaysay winner, said.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill was enacted by Parliament on December 11, 2019.
Pandey said, “The government allows only those agitations which do not threaten it. After AASU came into the picture, its leaders had said there would be protests only in the fields instead of on the roads and there would be none after 5 pm. Is it a government programme or a peoples’ movement?”
Pandey and Patkar alleged that the BJP-led government in the state had conspired against Gogoi and handed him over to NIA under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
“The government wants only those groups which will work as per the understanding with it. Why does KMSS not get permission to protest, but AASU gets it easily?” asked Patkar.
Hitting out at the BJP-ruled government in the state, she said “People cannot raise their voice against injustice … It is happening in all the BJP-ruled states”.
She also alleged that the National Register of Citizens was prepared through a corrupt system in Assam. It excluded 19 lakh people, including “10-12 lakh Hindus”.
“If NRC is done across India, then entire country will become Shaheen Bagh. We must resist the attempt to divide people on religious basis,” she said.
Gogoi was arrested on December 12, 2019, from Jorhat in the midst of the anti-CAA movement in Assam as a “preventive measure” in view of the deteriorating law and order situationy.
An FIR was registered against him by Assam Police on December 13 at Teok police station under various sections of the IPC and the UAPA.
The case was handed over to NIA the next day following the issuance of an order by the union home ministry on December 14 itself. (PTI)