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Assam Police to Issue Summons to Rahul Gandhi Over Nyay Yatra Violence: Himanta Biswa Sarma – News18


Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said the state police will issue a summons to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over violence during Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Guwahati.

He said Gandhi will have to be physically present before the police, which will send the notice after the Lok Sabha polls.

“When someone breaks the law, summons will obviously be issued. Summons will go to Rahul Gandhi and he will have to stand here after Lok Sabha elections,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an official function here.

Sarma said that summonses issued to Congress MLA Jakir Hussain Sikdar and Assam Congress president Bhupen Kumar Borah were just the “beginning” of the process.

The chief minister was referring to a case filed by Guwahati Police over Congress workers breaking barricades in an attempt to pass through the main roads inside the city during the yatra in January.

Initially, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Assam Police issued notices to Sikdar and Congress Guwahati city general secretary Ramen Kumar Sarma, and both of them have already been questioned by the police.

It later dashed off summonses to the leader of opposition in the state assembly, Debabrata Saikia and Borah too, but neither of them appeared on the scheduled date.

“We have issued notices to both of them for the second time. Saikia has been asked to appear before us on March 6, while Borah has been asked to come on March 7,” a senior police official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

Reacting to the fresh summons, Borah said he will not be able to appear on Thursday as his father’s death anniversary falls on that day, and besides, he also has a party meeting on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“In Guwahati, 2,745 cases were lodged in a single year. But the police cannot look at those and solve them as the biggest criminal for them is Bhupen Borah.

“Earlier, other Congress leaders were also issued notices for their alleged role in violence in the yatra, but everything went silent after they joined the BJP. However, I am not going to join the BJP,” he said in an apparent reference to former Assam Congress working president Rana Goswami, who has recently joined the ruling party.

On January 23, Congress workers in the presence of Gandhi and other leaders broke police barricades, which were put up after the CM threatened to file an FIR if the yatra attempted to enter the main Guwahati city.

The party workers clashed with the police, who used mild lathi-charge to control the situation but failed to protect the barricades. Several police personnel and party workers were injured in the scuffle.

After dismantling the barriers, the Congress workers, however, did not proceed further with Gandhi stating that they “can break barricades, but will not break the law” and moved through its permitted route along NH-27 in Guwahati.

Following this episode, the chief minister called the action “Naxalite-style” and instructed the police to register a case. The Guwahati Police lodged a suo motu FIR against Gandhi and other leaders for “wanton acts of violence”.

Sarma even announced that the “instigators”, including Gandhi, would be arrested after the Lok Sabha polls as he did not want to “politicise” the issue before the general elections.

Along with Gandhi, several other senior Congress leaders, including KC Venugopal, Jitendra Singh, Jairam Ramesh, Srinivas BV, Kanhaiyya Kumar, Gaurav Gogoi, Bhupen Kumar Borah and Debabrata Saikia, have also been named in the FIR.

The chief minister, who also holds the Home Department in the state, later announced that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) will be formed to probe the case and accordingly, it was handed over to the CID.

The case was initially filed at the Basistha Police Station under 10 different sections, including non-bailable ones, such as 120B (criminal conspiracy), 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 188 (disobedience of order), 283 (causing danger, obstruction or injury) and 332 (causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of the IPC.

Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 for alleged mischief causing damage to public property has also been slapped in the FIR.

Similarly, another FIR was registered against ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ organisers including KB Byju, Assam Congress Chief Bhupen Kumar Borah and others for allegedly deviating from its permitted route inside Jorhat town, leading to a “chaotic situation” in the area.

The Jorhat Police issued notices to the accused persons and several of them have already been interrogated.

Referring to the police cases against him and other Congress leaders in Assam, Gandhi had dared the BJP-ruled state to file “as many cases as it can”, asserting that he would not be intimidated.

The yatra, led by the Congress MP, commenced from Manipur on January 14 and will culminate on March 20 in Mumbai.

The Assam leg of the march, which started on January 18 and concluded on January 25, travelled 833 km in 17 districts. The yatra plans to cover 6,713 km in 67 days while passing through 110 districts in 15 states.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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