Muslim front, Maoists, Cong part of violence:Assam govt

Muslim front, Maoists, Cong part of violence:Assam govt

Himanta Biswa Sarma. (DH photos)

The BJP-led government in Assam on Tuesday named two Islamic frontal organisations, Youth Congress leader and an intellectual associated with a Central government organisation as suspects for the December 10 violence here during a protest against the amendment to the Citizenship Act.

"The evidence gathered by our intelligence agencies has revealed that members of the Popular Front of India and Campus Front of India, frontal organisations of Simi (Students Islamic Movement of India) were involved in the vandalism."

The video footage taken during the attack clearly shows that president of Assam Pradesh Youth Congress, Kamrul Islam, being part of the crowd and overseeing the vandalism and the plan to set fire in the Janata Bhavan (the state Secretariat) on that day.

A local intellectual who is associated with a central government organisation was co-coordinating the attack over phone from a control room," Assam minister and BJP's strategist in the northeast Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters here.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), on the other hand, told a local court here that RTI activist and peasant's rights leader Akhil Gogoi, who was arrested in connection with the violence, was having links with the Maoists.

Gogoi, who has been constantly vocal against the amendment and Modi government's other policies for long, was arrested on Sunday and was handed over to the NIA on Tuesday.

He was remanded in NIA custody for 10 days.

Gogoi has been charged under Section 18 (conspiracy and inciting a terrorist act) and Section 39 (furthering the activities of a terrorist group) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and several sections of the IPC.

The case against Gogoi was handed over to the NIA earlier.

"The NSUI activists were found involved in the vandalism in Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati," Sarma said, adding that a Special Investigation Team headed by an IPS officer would thoroughly probe there involvement.

"We will also request the MHA give us an officer serving in the NIA or CBI for 6 months to help us in the investigation," he said.

The charge against the Congress comes on a day when former chief minister and Veteran Congress leader Tarun Gogoi alleged that RSS had carried out the violence to divert attention from Modi government's failures to improve the economy.

Soon after the violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had claimed that the Congress was involved in the attack.

Sarma, however, said that the agitators led by All Assam Students' Union were not there during the attempt to attack the Secretariat.

Police have arrested 190 people so far and more are likely to be arrested in connection with the attack that included burning of vehicles, burning of the welcome gate constructed for the India-Japan Summit and vandalism at several other locations.

Four youths were killed and 20 others received bullet injuries in firing by security forces to control the violent protesters on December 10 and 11.

Sarma claimed that most of those arrested in connection with the attack in Guwahati were from Barpeta, Dhubri and Goalpara districts in western Assam.

These districts have sizeable Muslim population.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox