Guwahati, January 4 (IANS): Protests were held in Assam on Thursday against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had termed the recent updation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam a “conspiracy against the Bengalis”.
While the Brihattar Asomiya Yuva Mancha staged demonstrations in different parts of the state and burnt the effigy of Banerjee, many organisations representing the linguistic minority community also took to the streets.
Several social organisations filed an FIR against Banerjee, while organisations like Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sabha, Bengali Students’ Federation of Assam slammed her for “trying to take political mileage”.
Banerjee, addressing a public meeting at West Bengal’s Birbhum, had termed the process of updating the NRC a “Bengali Hatao” movement, saying it is a political conspiracy hatched against the Bengalis. A case has been registered against her for promoting enmity between different groups.
Her statement also drew severe criticism from different sections of society.
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma called her statement “unfortunate” and said the Supreme Court, under whose guidance the NRC was being updated, will be informed of Banerjee’s statement. “The statement shows her lack of knowledge, particularly about the history of Assam. The updation of NRC was done at the instruction and guidance of the Supreme Court,” he said, adding they would now decide whether the state government will draw the attention of the Supreme Court to it or “other people” will.
All Assam Students Union adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya said the statement was “instigative” in nature, and also noted that the NRC has been updated according to the Assam Accord and under consistent monitoring of the Supreme Court.
He said that Assam has taken the burden of lots of foreigners who entered the state till March 24, 1971.
“However, according to the Assam Accord, those who have come after midnight of March 24, 1971 have to go. There is no question of Bengalis or Muslims,” he said.
Former Chief Minister and senior Asom Gana Parishad leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta called it a “scheme to flare up communal tension and destabilise the peace in Assam”.