Chabua, December 27, 2019:
Dividing the State along the lines of “us” and “them”, Mrinal Saikia, a BJP MLA from Khumtai in Upper Assam, incited his followers to violence in the wake of the protests across the length of Assam.
Support Independent Media
Support us in our efforts to bring authentic, extensive and thorough news coverage from Northeast India. Do support independent media as good journalism can only survive when a media organization is both editorially and financially independent.
Pay for quality news
Addressing his followers at Chabua in Dibrugarh, a site of massive protests against the Bill-turned-Act, Mrinal Saikia thundered, “The BJP has become strong, you can be strong too. You all just have to come out…have tolerated enough. If someone comes to burn your house, you also burn down their houses. If they touch one worker of ours, do the same with 10 of their workers.”
The MLA also said that the protesters are trying to instill fear in the hearts of the BJP supporters. “They want to instill fear so that the BJP leaders don’t come out. You must have seen in the movies that when 10 goons move around, 2-3 villages stay quiet
They want to instill fear among the people.”
Issuing a threat to the anti-CAA brigade, he said, “I’ll ask them after 6 months or 1 year – Where are the Bangladeshis? I’ll ask them to show us Bangladeshis and if they can’t, they will face the payback.”
Saikia also lampooned the anti-CAA protests and said that in total, not even 1 lakh people have joined the protests. “In a land with 3.5 crore people, just few groups of them came out in protest (of CAA). Are they the public? And the rest who stayed inside their homes
And said that these (protests) are not right. Burning tires, property damage, etc. is bad, they are not public?”
Alleging that the anti-CAA leaders are using the protests as a means to fill their pockets, Saikia said, “You can enquire from the shops later, how much donation they collected in the name of protests.”
Saikia’s divisive tirade at a public function has landed him the soup, with many sections of the public condemning him for his incendiary remarks during a volatile and sensitive atmosphere. Arguably, the sentiment in Assam is an ‘anti-CAA’ one, with lakhs upon lakhs still pouring onto the streets in protest. In a recent protest in Dibrugarh itself spearheaded by AASU, aerial drone footage showed a great number of people — over a lakh.
Support Inside Northeast (InsideNE), an independent media platform that focuses on Citizen-centric stories from Northeast India that are surprising, inspiring, cinematic and emotionally relevant.