Jorhat’s ‘nude’ protester

Mantu Dutta, the activist from Assam who had once staged nude protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, is back in news. And this time, he demanded for ‘independence’ of Assam.

Clad in traditional dhoti and Assamese gamosa around his neck, 45-year-old Dutta was seen standing in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Jorhat on Tuesday, holding a placard.

The words on Mantu Dutta’s placard began with Joi Aai Axom (Long Live Mother Assam).

“Since Assam is not a constituent state of India, so please grant independence to Assam,” the placard in Assamese read.

Mantu Dutta, who is known for his puckish protests in Upper Assam, was seen standing in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office for nearly two hours on Tuesday.

Though he demanded ‘independence’ of Assam, neither the police, nor the district administration paid any attention to the individual protest.

Mantu Dutta staging nude protest against Citizenship Bill on January 11, 2019 in Jorhat.

Dutta who hails from Rajabari area in Jorhat, said he was staging the protest in his individual capacity, and he did not represent any political party or organization.

Also Read: Jorhat man stages nude protest against Citizenship Bill

Though the police and district administration preferred to turn a blind eye to Dutta’s individual protest on Tuesday, his demand was definitely not a shaggy dog story.

Dutta’s demand for ‘independence’ of Assam definitely aligns with separatist ULFA’s four-decade old movement for a ‘sovereign’ Assam.

A policeman, when asked about the demand for ‘independence’ of Assam, said no actions were taken as no one takes Mantu Dutta seriously in Jorhat.

Dutta is often seen carrying a placard and protesting on issues which he thinks is important.

On January 11, last year, Mantu Dutta had staged a nude protest in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Jorhat against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. He had also demanded ‘sedition charges’ be slapped against scholar Hiren Gohain.

As the nude protest was embarrassing for the people in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office, police had picked him up then and forcefully clothed him.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com