PFI Assam head arrested for violence during anti-CAA protest

A day after the Assam government pointed the finger of accusation towards radical Popular Front of India (PFI) for the violence during last week’s anti-CAA agitations, the state president of the organization and another leader were arrested by police on December 18.

The state president of PFI, Aminul Haque, and another leader, Muzamil, were arrested from Kamrup district, police sources confirmed.

Senior state cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had alleged on December 17 that a leading intellectual from Assam, working with a central university, was in coordination with PFI members and had planned an attack to burn down the state secretariat during the anti-CAA protests in Guwahati.

The state government has already instituted a Special Investigation Team, led by deputy inspector general (CID) Mridulananda Sharma, to probe the violence during the protests, and more than 270 people have also been arrested so far.

The situation continued to improve in Assam with no disruption of law and order reported in the last 48 hours.

Night curfew remained clamped in a few places, including Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts, as a precautionary measure. Mobile internet services, which were blocked in 10 districts of the state since the evening of December 11, however, remained suspended till December 19, subject to review.

Broadband internet services were restored since on December 17 morning.

Train services, which were severely affected during the agitation, have started to be restored, with the running of local and intercity passenger trains resumed since December 17.

Running of long-distance trains to almost all destinations, including Delhi and Kolkata, have also resumed with the improvement of the law and order situation.

Meanwhile, protests against the CAA continued in different parts of the state.

The three-day Satyagraha programme of All Assam Students Union (AASU) entered the final day today, with thousands joining the protest at Latasil Field at Guwahati, and courting arrest, led by central AASU leadership.

Similar protests were also staged in different parts, including Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Nagaon, Mazbat and Duliajan.

Assam has been opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal Hindu, Parsi, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who had entered India before December 31, 2014, without any documents.

People of Northeastern states, especially Assam and Tripura, are demanding its revocation as they fear being ‘overrun’ by non-Muslims from neighbouring Bangladesh.

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