Assam greets PM Modi with Black Flags

Written by Zamser Ali | Published on: February 9, 2019

Bandh call in state even as rest of North East remains on the edge 


Protest by AASU at Swahid Nyash, Uzanbazar

After seizing power in all 8 states in North-East with the help of various regional parties and by the way of horse trading, the BJP was quite confident of winning 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the area. But the ruling party at the centre is facing a tough time here just ahead of the general elections. This has become evident during the three-day North-East visit of BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The visit of Prime Minister started on February 7, through his maiden election campaign at Tripura, who visited Arunachal Pradesh the following day. After completion of Arunachal Pradesh visit, the Prime Minister entered Assam by the evening of February 8. On his way along the 20 kilometer stretch from Gopinath Bardoloi International Airport to Raj Bhawan, the Prime Minister had to face at least half a dozen black flag protests by different organizations. Though a huge number of police personnel and paramilitary forces were deployed to spare the Prime Minister the sight of the unprecedented protest, all efforts failed during his visit late evening.


Protest at Gauhati University

The first such protest was organized at Gauhati University, where hundreds of students came out on the streets of National Highway 37, as a mark of their protest against Narendra Modi. The student community of Gauhati University staged a demonstration, calling the Prime Minister Modi a saviour of Bangladeshis, they also showed black flag and various posters where Modi was declared as Anti-Assamese and killer of democracy. They chanted various slogans against the Prime Minister such as "Go back Modi", "Scrap Citizenship Amendment Bill", "Save the Constitution, save Democracy", "Save the secular fabric of Indian Constitution" and many more.


Protest at Gauhati University

Anindita Das, student of law at Gauhati University said, "Though the Prime Minister passed through the University area in the dark, the students community didn't miss the opportunity to protest his visit and the communal activities of the BJP led government at the Centre and as well as Assam. Every one came out spontaneously to show their anger against communal and fascist activities of the regime."

Just after passing one km after the Gauhati University, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) led 70 other organizations, came out with black flags in huge numbers at Adabari. Another group of KMSS protesters showed black flags at Fancy Bazaar against the visit of the Prime Minister. Meanwhile, hundreds of All Assam Students Union (AASU) members mobilized at its headquarter Swahid Nyash at Uzanbazar. Taking stock of the situation, BJP workers including three Ministers of Assam, Piyush Hazarika, Pallab Lochan Das and Sidhyartha Bhattacharjee, rushed to the spot and created a barricade, to prevent the AASU workers from coming out of Swahid Nyash.


Protest by AASU at Swahid Nyash, Uzanbazar at the time of passing prime Ministers vehicle.

The police forces and BJP members jointly took an initiative, so that the Prime Minister can pass by safely. The BJP Minister, Piyush Hazarika, criticised the AASU workers for their protest and challenged them to come out to the street. Reacting to the hooliganism of BJP leaders, AASU Advisor, Dr. Samujjal Kumar Bhattachariyya said, "If the BJP goons have the courage, let them come without police. AASU, will take out a massive protest against the BJP on Saturday. AASU also appeals to the people of the state to hoist black flags in the each and every village against CAB and the visit of the Prime Minister.”

Just before the entrance to Raj Bhawan at Kharghuli, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the biggest regional political party of North-East, which was alliance partner of BJP until recently, took out another protest march with black flags. The AGP President, Atul Bora, who led the protest of thousands of party workers warned, "The Prime Minister must understand the mood of the people of the state. If the government makes any further move to pass the CAB in Rajya Sabha then BJP will have to face severe consequences." It may be mentioned that in Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh too, the Prime Minister had to witness several such protests. In the meantime, Tai Ahom Yuba Parishad of Assam has called for an Assam Bandh on February 9 against the visit of Prime Minister. The bandh call has been supported by KMSS.