Biswanath: In a bid to thwart protests involving ‘black flags’, overzealous security personnel stopped local residents, who were wearing black clothes, from entering a public meeting where chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal addressed a gathering at Baranga in Biswath district of Assam on Tuesday.
Despite any order or notice, as confirmed by the CM himself later, cops were stopping almost anybody with a piece of clothing that featured the black colour. Things came to such a pass that a mother had to get her child’s black jacket removed as a precautionary measure to be allowed entry into the meeting.
In a video footage that is now doing the rounds on social media, the child is seen crying relentlessly as his mother is getting him to wear something more ‘acceptable’.
Meanwhile, CM Sonowal has reacted sharply over the incident and has termed it a political conspiracy against him and his government. “Nobody should use kids to gain such political advantage. No notification has been issued to impose any ban on black clothes in meetings,” he told a local media channel.
He has also ordered the DGP to submit a report on the incident within 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Biswanath SP Rakesh Roshan has ordered an inquiry into the incident. “No instruction was given to remove black clothes,” he added.
The development comes a time when members of various organisations have been protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill by waving black flags at political leaders.
The Bill, which is pending in the Rajya Sabha, amends the Citizenship Act, 1955, by relaxing the eligibility rules for getting Indian citizenship for immigrants belonging to six minority (non-Muslim) religions — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from neighbouring Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan.
Groups in Assam see the Bill as a “threat” to the indigenous communities of the region as it goes against Assam Accord provision saying that any person who came into Assam after midnight of March 24, 1971, would be identified as a foreigner.