Black flags waved at Assam BJP president Ranjeet Dass in Dibrugarh. Image: Northeast Now

Seven All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) activists were held on Thursday by Dibrugarh police for showing black flags to state BJP president Ranjeet Dass at Chabua.

Dass, accompanied by Chabua MLA Binod Hazarika, was on his way to attend a party meeting at Chabua when around 1,000 AASU members protesting against CAA stopped his convoy in the middle of Chabua town.

The protesters rushed towards his convoy, waving black flags and raising slogans against him and CAA.

They raised slogans like ‘BJP Go Back’, ‘Ranjeet Dass Murdabad’, ‘We won’t accept CAA’ and ‘Jai Aai Asom’.

Surrounded from all sides by protesting AASU members, the BJP chief remained confined inside his car for nearly half an hour and the police had to struggle to clear the road.

Amid this, a few AASU members also burnt an effigy of the BJP president.

At the same time, a scuffle broke out between BJP members and the protesters and the incident further enraged the protesters who refused to clear the road.

As the situation threatened to spiral out of control state BJP spokesperson Subhash Dutta had to alight from his vehicle and request the protesters to let them go.

Finally, the convoy was able to pass through the barricade of protesters with the help of security forces.

The police later detained Dibrugarh district AASU advisor Likhon Baruah along with six others.

In protest against their detention, Dibrugarh University AASU members blocked the NH-37 in front of the university for nearly 30 minutes in the afternoon.

“We strongly condemn the police detention of the AASU members. We demand their immediate release,” said Dibrugarh AASU president Sankar Jyoti Baruah.

“The government is trying to suppress our democratic movement against CAA. Our protests will continue in coming days,” he said.

“The CM, ministers, MLAs and other leaders will be greeted with black flags wherever they go. This is to remind them about their betrayal of the people,” Baruah added.

“The people of Assam will never accept CAA. The protest will go on till CAA is withdrawn,” Baruah further said.

Significantly it was not the first time the BJP chief was shown black flags by anti-CAA activists after the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act was enacted in December 2019.

Earlier also he has been greeted with black flags by anti-CAA protesters at several places of upper Assam including Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Sivasagar and Tinsukia.

Similarly other BJP leaders including chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, his cabinet ministers and MLAs to have faced the wrath of the anti-CAA brigade.

Since the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was enacted, widespread protests have swept the state, with people fearing that their land, identity and culture will be at stake if illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh were made legal residents.

Earlier, Ranjeet Kumar Dass waved black flags at Chabua when he went to meet Chabua legislature Binod Hazarika. During anti-CAA protest, the protesters burnt the house of Binod Hazarika.

Chabua, native place of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal witnessed huge protest during the anti-CAA movement and the protesters damaged and vandalised public property.

Police have arrested many people in connection with violence and vandalism in Chabua.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com