Tinsukia: Prabajan Virodhi Manch (PVM) convenor Upamanyu Hazarika has slammed the recent Cabinet decisions announced by the Assam government, after the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) unfolded in the state, declaring them to be mere empty promises.
PVM is an anti-influx body headed by Hazarika, who is also a Supreme Court advocate.
Addressing a press conference in Tinsukia on Sunday, Hazarika said that Assam is passing through a concerning phase. “The government has given priority to the foreigners over local people as a result of which locals have come out on the streets to protest,” he said.
“Five youths have been martyred,” Hazarika said, adding, “To safeguard the interest of foreigners, the Assam government attacked its own people.”
Questioning the government’s announcement, Hazarika said that the government should have first thought about local people’s concerns, who are feeling insecure, and come up with the policies to safeguard the Assamese language, land rights, give jobs, before the protests. “If the government had brought in and implemented policies to safeguard the identity, existence and language of indigenous people and addressed their concerns beforehand, assuring them that they won’t be affected, then this wouldn’t have been the condition of Assam today.”
The Cabinet on Saturday announced a slew of measures following the violence and protests that rocked the state.
Later, finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took to Twitter to highlight the decisions, “A series of decisions for the overall well-being of people, numerous indigenous communities, and the state was taken today by #Assam Cabinet under the chairmanship of HCM @sarbanandsonwal. We are committed to unhindered growth of Assam guided by vision of PM Sri @narendramodi.”
The recent lawlessness and protests have resulted in loss of everyone including the nation. “There has been a social breakdown, businesses in the state have been hit hard. It is the peak season for tourism which has been adversely affected,” said Hazarika, asking: “Why is the government of Assam not taking any responsibility?”
This was to happen when a government comes in with an act against its own people, Hazarika said. “The policies announced are mere empty promises, nothing else; similar promises had been made in past. There is already an Assam Official Languages Act, 1907, under which Assamese is the official language of Assam. The false promises made by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and his powerful minister Sarma will result in loss of faith in citizens, triggering lawlessness.”