The protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) refuse to die in Assam and even on 71st Republic Day on January 26th, 2020, the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were shown black flags across the state.
Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam Industries Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and BJP legislator Angoorlata Deka were shown black flags by anti-CAA protesters at different locations in the state when they were on their way to attend Republic Day programmes.
Sarma was heading towards Nurul Amin Stadium in Nagaon when All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) members rushed towards his convoy and raised anti-government and anti-CAA slogans while waving black flags at him.
Patowary was greeted with black flags while he was returning back after attending the Republic Day celebrations at the Chowkidingi playground in Dibrugarh. In Kamrup, anti-CAA protesters waved black flags Deka, BJP MLA from Nagaon’s Batadrava constituency. They anti-CAA agitators were, however, overpowered by police and taken into custody.
The black flags waved by the anti-CAA protesters have become a symbol of protest against the BJP-led governments at the Centre and State for its alleged indifference to the people’s sentiments.
In the recent past, Sarma had to change his route to reach an event held in Sonitpur by taking a helicopter due to the black flag protests. The protesters are following the BJP leaders with black flags everywhere – from religious ceremony to public events.
Sarma was also shown black flags when he went to condole the death of BJP MLA Rajen Borthakur in Tezpur. The leaders of the Asom Gana Parishad, the alliance partner of the BJP in Assam, too had to face the wrath of black flag protests.
The anti-CAA protesters spared none including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP State president of Assam, Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Union minister for food processing and industries Rameswar Teli, Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa among others.
The CAA grants citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who came to India on or before December 31st, 2014.
Massive protests broke out in the country soon after the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill Bill in both the houses of the parliament. Those protesting in Assam say that the Act violates the historic 1985 Assam Accord.
Four people had died during the anti-CAA protest in Guwahati. While an oil tanker was set ablaze in Assam’s Sonitpur district by anti-CAA protesters, killing its driver on the spot.