Hiren Gohain Credit: File image

Guwahati: The Assam police has lodged sou moto case of sedition against prominent intellectual Hiren Gohain, former journalist Manjit Mahanta and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi for their inflammatory remarks during a protest rally to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Guwahati on Thursday.

The trio has been booked for their speech wherein they talked about a probable resurgence of a fight raising concerns on the integrity of the country.

The police have reportedly filed suo moto case under sections 120(B), 121, 123 and 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Reacting to the charges, Gohain said in a statement that when some younger protesters in indignation made reference to probable demand raising concerns to integrity of India, he intervened. The 80-year-old intellectual said, “I intervened saying that such a demand can have relevance only if and when all democratic resources have been exhausted.”

The FIR was filed after Intellectuals, activists and former journalists rallied against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on January 7 under the banner of Forum Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. According to the complaint, the statements made in the rally amounted to sedition.

The Northeast, particularly Assam, has been protesting against the Bill which aims to provide citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The contentious Bill has faced vehement criticism ever since it was introduced in 2016.

Earlier on Tuesday, the BJP government got the Bill passed in Lok Sabha. However, the Bill could not be tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

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