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March 14, 2024

Assam Police Issues Warning to Opposition: Withdraw CAA Stir or Face Legal Action

The Assam Police have issued stern warnings to opposition parties, urging them to retract their call for a hartal against the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Officials revealed that legal notices have been dispatched to opposition leaders, emphasizing the necessity to withdraw their agitation, failing which they would face legal repercussions.

The 16-party United Opposition Forum, Assam (UOFA), convened the statewide hartal in protest against the CAA’s implementation. However, the police have intervened, citing potential disruptions to peace and security, as well as the likelihood of public inconvenience resulting from the proposed hartal.

According to the legal notices dated March 11, the Assam Police highlighted the ramifications of the proposed hartal, expressing concerns over potential breaches of peace, highway and railway blockades, which have been deemed illegal and unconstitutional by various court rulings, including those of the Supreme Court of India, Kerala High Court, and Gauhati High Court.

The notices unequivocally instructed the parties to retract the hartal and collaborate in preserving peace within the state. Failure to comply, warned the police, would result in legal actions against individuals personally, with the possibility of recovering costs incurred due to damages to public and private properties from the concerned parties and organizations.

Director-General of Police GP Singh shared the issued notices on social media platforms, reiterating their purpose to safeguard public property and protect citizens’ lives from potential agitation-related risks. As of now, the state has not reported any untoward incidents, with the police maintaining heightened security measures.

To preempt any disturbances, additional police personnel have been deployed, and all police stations are on high alert. Intensified patrolling and the establishment of check-posts along major thoroughfares, including in Guwahati, where violent protests erupted in December 2019, underscore the authorities’ proactive stance in maintaining law and order.

The Assam Police’s intervention reflects the delicate balance between citizens’ right to protest and the state’s duty to uphold law and order. While dissent is integral to democracy, authorities are tasked with ensuring that protests do not infringe upon the rights and safety of others or disrupt public life.

As the situation unfolds, the outcome of the Assam Police’s warnings to opposition parties remains uncertain. However, their proactive stance underscores the gravity of the situation and the importance of maintaining peace and order in the state amidst contentious socio-political issues like the CAA implementation.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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