Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday accused his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee of making “inflammatory” statements on the National Register of Citizens. He said that Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress was spreading “false propaganda” and “wrong information” on the topic, PTI reported.
“Not a single law and order situation has arisen in Assam after the publication of the draft NRC, which was complete fair and transparent,” he said. “The statements of the West Bengal chief minister were inflammatory and divisive and aimed at her vote bank in her own state. It does not behove of a chief minister.”
Banerjee has repeatedly criticised the draft register, which left out 40 lakh people out of the 3.29 crore applicants on July 30. She has accused the Centre of harassing people by calling them infiltrators. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth wing on Tuesday filed a police complaint against her after she warned of a “civil war, bloodbath” in the country after the publication of the citizens’ list.
Sonowal said rumours were being spread about the NRC but the people of Assam did not fall to the prey to the “evil design” of the “outside” forces which tried to instigate people for “narrow political gain”.
On August 2, the police had detained an eight-member Trinamool Congress delegation led by West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim at the Silchar airport as a precautionary measure. The delegation was tasked with “taking stock of the situation” in Bengali-dominated city in south Assam’s Barak Valley following the publication of the draft NRC.
Cases against Banerjee
On Saturday, police in Assam said they had filed two more cases against Mamata Banerjee and members of the Trinamool Congress delegation for allegedly creating disturbances on the basis of religion, PTI reported. Five cases have reportedly been filed so far against Banerjee since the draft of the National Register of Citizens was published on July 30.
Police said Banerjee was burnt in effigy and protests were held against her across the state on Saturday. The two cases were filed in Guwahati and Silchar, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central), Ranjan Bhuyan.
The complaint in Guwahati alleged that Banerjee’s statements after the publication of the NRC were communal in nature and could cause a breach of peace and tranquility between the Assamese and the Bengalis in the state, reported India Today. It also claimed that Banerjee’s comments posed a threat to the life and liberty of Assamese people living in West Bengal.
The FIR named Banerjee and the eight-member TMC team under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language), and 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person) of the Indian Penal Code.
Bhuyan said the other FIR was filed by a policewoman at Cachar’s Udharband police station on Saturday, who said that she was injured in a scuffle with the visiting Trinamool members at Silchar airport. This complaint charged the delegation of violating Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which was then in place in Silchar.