Himanta Biswa Sarma
Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma addressing a press conference in Guwahati. File Image credit - Northeast Now

Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said there was a conspiracy to set the Assam Secretariat on fire during the anti-CAB protests on December 10.

Sarma said the plan was hatched by ‘urban Naxals’, members of Popular Front of India (PFI) and a section of Congress leaders.

Minister Sarma said this while addressing a press conference on Tuesday.
He also claimed the government has received electronic evidence against some of the ‘urban Naxals’, PFI members and a section of Congress leaders.

Also read: Anti-CAA protests: 136 cases registered, 190 arrested in Assam

He said while the government has handed over a case over the protests and vandalism to the National Investigating Agency (NIA), it has also decided to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incidents of violence in front of the Assam Secretariat.

“We are also going to request the Central government to depute one working officer either from the CBI or from the NIA so that the investigation can be pursued more professionally,” he said.

“To unearth the political and criminal conspiracy we have decided to form this SIT to be headed by Mridulananda Sarma (IPS) and some other senior officials,” he said.

He added that he would also meet union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday and request him to investigate the incident of vandalism near the Assam Secretariat by the NIA.

The minister also said they have identified some Congress members, who were allegedly involved in the acts of vandalism since December 9 at different places in Guwahati.

Asked about the NIA’s probe, the minister said so far, there is “terrorists’ involvement” found behind the violence.

“What information we have received so far are some names. Now, we want to find out the involvement of these names to organizations so that we can unearth the conspiracy,” he said.

He said while the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and other organizations took out a procession protesting against the Act, the members of PFI through their posts in social media platforms only asked the members to gather at Gate No 2 of the Assam Secretariat.

“This shows a pattern. They were not interested in taking part in any protest. They were only interested in gathering near the Gate No 2 of the Assam Secretariat,” he said.

Sarma also hinted that an intellectual of Assam has also instigated some of the protestors in attacking the Assam Secretariat while sitting from a safe distance.