Assam minister takes 5-km chopper ride as anti-CAA protesters block road
Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had to take a chopper ride for five kilometre on Sunday because of protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA. He had to attend a function to pay tribute to deceased BJP MLA Rajen Borthakur.
After reaching Tezpur by helicopter from Guwahati on Saturday, Sarma could not go to Ghoramari, where the programme was taking place, due to the agitation by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
Protesters blocked the National Highway-15 between Tezpur and Ghoramari opposing the minister’s visit and shouted slogans against the amended Citizenship Act.
Sarma had to eventually ride the chopper to reach the destination.
The state had witnessed violent agitations after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in both Houses of Parliament. Five people were killed and several public properties damaged during the stir. Curfew was imposed in several cities and towns of the state including Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Tezpur and Dhekiajuli.
Amid these protests, the Assam cabinet recently approved a slew of measures, including making the Assamese language mandatory in all schools and a law to protect land rights of the indigenous people.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal expressed dismay over continuing protests and said he will not do anything that will harm the interests of the people of the state. “I am baffled to find a sudden outbreak of public outrage, that too without verifying the ground reality. Their anger is based on fictitious facts and data, particularly regarding the CAA and its provisions,” Sonowal said at a gathering of BJP supporters at Sualkuchi in Kamrup district.
“We will never do anything against the sentiments of people. We have been giving this assurance always and we are committed to it,” he added.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was also present there, strongly criticised the Opposition Congress for the present situation of the state.