The Assam Police have registered a sedition case against anti-corruption activist Akhil Gogoi, academic Hiren Gohain and former journalist Manjit Mahanta for allegedly speaking “against the law” at a recent public meeting.
Joint Commissioner of Police, Guwahati, Diganta Barah told Scroll.in that a suo motu first information report was filed in a police station in Guwahati under Sections 120(B), 121, 123 and 124(A) of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with criminal conspiracy, attempts to wage war against the Indian government and sedition.
Gohain had said at a meeting held on Monday in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that if the Centre keeps disrespecting the sentiments of the people of Assam, people will be forced to demand an independent Assam.
“Demand for an independent Assam will be [the] last option if the government does not change its decision on the bill issue,” Gogoi said on Monday, according to Time8. “The government has nullified the basic principles of the Indian Constitution by sidelining the democratic agitations against the bill and the government’s move to bring in illegal migrants by implementing the Citizeenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.”
The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the bill that seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 to grant citizenship to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan if they have lived in India for six years. According to the draft law, they will be granted citizenship even if they do not possess the required documents.
The passage has stoked tension in Assam and led to mass protests. The Asom Gana Parishad, an ally of the BJP, has also pulled out of the coalition earlier this week in protest against the Citizenship Bill. Three Asom Gana Parishad state ministers quit on Wednesday.