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Assam: ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans raised in Sonitpur violence? Upamanyu Hazarika alleges cover-up

Convener of Prabajan Virodhi Mancha, Assam Upamanyu Hazarika on August 8th, 2020 questioned the denial of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogan raised in the Sonitpur violence without any investigation by the Superintendent of Police and Deputy Commissioner.

“On the 5th of August, the raising of “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans by those of Bangladeshi origin in Thelamara part of Borsola (Dhekiajuli) constituency is evident not only from video footage and vouched for by large number of those who were present. However, the Superintendent of Police categorically asserted that such slogans were never raised that too without an investigation despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The raising of “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan coupled with violence is an offence of waging war against the State,” Hazarika stated in a press communique.

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He further said that the present government has shown no hesitation in registering the offence of waging war against the state against those who criticize the Chief Minister, other leaders, and even for reciting poetry for the indigenous cause, which is a gross misuse. “However, the manner in which the district administration has sought to cover up the commission of the offence is indeed mysterious,” he added.

“At the root of all these, is CM Sonowal led present government to appease Bangladeshis for votes. Even though CM Sonowal is publicly acknowledged to be ineffective and inept, but as far as Bangladeshis appeasement is concerned, he is proactive and instances are multiple,” he said.

Sonitpur violence

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on August 6th, 2020 directed the Director-General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta to conduct a probe into the Sonitpur violence that took place on August 5th, 2020.

At least 12 people were injured and nine bikes were set ablaze in the incident, said GP Singh, ADGP (Law and Order).

The Sonitpur deputy commissioner Manvendra Pratap Singh imposed indefinite curfew in the region with effect from August 5th, 2020 after the clashes erupted between two communities over a rally organised to celebrate the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.

 “Curfew imposed in Sonitpur district in areas falling under Thelamara and Dhekiajuli police stations. Movement of persons without special permission from the district magistrate shall not be permitted with effect from 10 pm of August 5,” Sonitpur deputy commissioner Manvendra Pratap Singh tweeted.

The district magistrate imposed the curfew following a violence erupted between two groups leaving several persons injured and motorcycles damaged. The clash erupted after locals of Thelamara, belonging to a particular community, objected a bike rally taken out by Bajrang Dal activists to mark the Ram Temple event. Later, locals set several bikes and a four-wheeler ablaze.

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