Assam artistes
AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya, actresses Nishita Goswami and Prashtuti Parashar addressing a gathering on the occasion of the ‘adya shraddha’ of anti-CAA martyr Sam Stafford. Image credit – Northeast Now

The artistes of Assam have sought judicial probe into the killing of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protestors by security force personnel in the state.

Popular Assamese actress Prastuti Parashar on Sunday said, “There should a judicial probe into the killing of six martyrs during protests. An impartial probe should be conducted with immediate effect to unearth in what situation they had to be killed.”

She added, “To prevent protestors during an agitation, there is no need to open fire directly.”

Parashar said this while attending the adya shraddha of 17-year-old Sam Stafford, who died in police firing during the anti-CAA protest in Guwahati.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Asom Silpi Samaj (Assam artists’ society) organized the adya shraddha at Hatigaon in Guwahati.

Also read: Assamese community protests in London, Germany against CAA

While addressing a press conference in Guwahati recently, Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said four persons died of bullet injuries in Guwahati.

Sam Stafford was the second martyr of the anti-CAA movement.

Dipanjal Das, a youth from Chaigaon in Kamrup (Rural) district, was the first martyr of the anti-CAA movement, who died during police firing at Lachit Nagar in Ulubari area of Guwahati.

An all-religion prayer meet was held at Hatigaon as part of the adya shraddha for Sam, who was born to Biju Stafford (45) and Mamoni Stafford (38) of Hatigaon.

Sam, who was a talented musician, died when police opened fire at the protestors who were protesting against the CAA in Hatigaon area in Guwahati.

Budding musician Sam also formed a band with his friends and performed at functions.

Anti-CAA martyr
Tributes are being paid to Sam Stafford on his adya shraddha. Image credit – Northeast Now
Tributes are being paid to Sam Stafford on his adya shraddha. Image credit – Northeast Now

Earlier, talking to Northeast Now, Sam’s father Biju Stafford had said, “He (Sam) went there with some of his friends although we asked him not to go. We were told that the protest was peaceful. However, suddenly the streetlights were blacked out and there were firing. Sam fell to the bullets of the security forces.”

Sam was rushed to a hospital in Hatigaon by a few good samaritans and from there he was sent to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), where he died.

While attending the adya shraddha, AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said, “It is unbelievable that adya shraddha of a Class X student is being held. Paying tribute to Sam, we pledge that we will not let his sacrifice go in vain.”

Bhattacharya also said that the Central government is trying to confuse the people.

“This government has divided the people as Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. It is trying to sow the communal seed, but we must understand that there is no place for communalism,” said Bhattacharya.

The ‘adya shraddha’ was also attended by actress Nishita Goswami, fashion designer Garima Garg, choreographer Uday Shankar, singer Bhrigu Kashyap, and others.

According to the CAA, 2019, any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before December 31, 2014, will be granted citizenship.


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