FIR against Rahul, other Congress leaders for violence during Nyay Yatra in Assam

Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra was fraught with confrontation between the Congress and Assam government on Tuesday, as Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma directed Director General of Police G P Singh to register a case against Rahul for allegedly provoking a crowd to break barricades.
FIR against Rahul, other Congress leaders for violence during Nyay Yatra in Assam

Guwahati | The Assam police has registered an FIR against Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders accusing them of indulging in wanton acts of violence on Tuesday, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

The Rahul Gandhi led Bharat Jodo Nyay Jatra is currently in Assam and the alleged acts of violence took place while the party supporters and leaders broke barricades and clashed with police personnel in their bid to enter Guwahati.

''With reference to wanton acts of violence, provocation, damage to public property and assault on police personnel today by Cong members, an FIR has been registered against Rahul Gandhi, KC Venugopal , Kanhaiya Kumar and other individuals under section 120(B)143/147/188/283/353/332/333/427 IPC R/W Sec. 3 of PDPP Act'', the Chief Minister posted on X.

Sarma had earlier in the day instructed the Director General of Police G P Singh to register a case against Rahul Gandhi for provoking the crowd to break barricades.

Singh also said that appropriate action is being taken against those involved in unlawful activities.

The barricades were erected along a highway to prevent Congress leaders and supporters taking part in the Yatra from entering the main thoroughfares of Guwahati, the largest city of the northeastern state.

As Congress supporters removed the barricades, a scuffle with the police personnel ensued leading to injuries suffered by state Congress president Bhupen Borah and leader of the opposition in the state assembly Debabrata Saikia.

This is the sixth day of the party’s Nyay Yatra in Assam.

Addressing the public from atop a bus, Gandhi said that they have broken barricades but ''we will not break the law''.

He alleged that while BJP president J P Nadda was allowed to take the same route earlier, Congress was not permitted.

"You should not think we are weak. We have broken the barricades," he told his workers and supporters, calling them "babbar sher" (lion).

Following this, the chief minister said in a post on X that he instructed the DGP to file a case for “provoking the crowd''.

Youth Congress president Srinivas BV shared on X a video showing Congress workers breaking a barricade. Responding to this, Sarma said that the footage will be used as evidence.

''These are not part of Assamese culture. We are a peaceful state. Such naxalite tactics are completely alien to our culture. Your unruly behaviour and violation of agreed guidelines have resulted in a massive traffic jam in Guwahati,'' Sarma added.

He said that evidence is emerging as to how Gandhi and senior leader Jitendra Singh “instigated the mob to kill Assam police personnel. … Our police personnel are servants of the public and do not belong to any royal family. Rest assured, law has a long arm, it will definitely reach you."

The chief minister had earlier said the Yatra would not be allowed to enter the city in order to avoid traffic jams.

The DGP said appropriate lawful action is being taken against those leaders and participants who instigated, led and participated in unlawful activities.

The hurdles for the Yatra in the state reached a flashpoint on Monday when the former Congress president was stopped from going to the birthplace of Assam's iconic Vaishnav saint Srimanta Sankardeva at Batadrava in Nagaon district. The neighbouring Morigaon district authorities also barred him from holding street corner meetings and a padyatra.

The Yatra which halted at Meghalaya on Monday night reentered Assam this morning but the Congress leader claimed that he was ‘not allowed’ to interact with students of a private university in Meghalaya at the ‘instructions’ of the Union Home minister which was conveyed to the varsity through the Assam chief minister's office.

Gandhi was scheduled to hold separate interactions with students, civil society members and party leaders at the University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya, in Ri Bhoi district bordering Assam. However, it was cancelled and he addressed students and others from atop his bus at the inter-state border.

As his entourage weaved his way towards Guwahati, they came across the barricades at Khanapara area of the city.

''On being advised to stick to the original Advanced Security Liasoning (ASL) plan, the participants of road event, at the instigation of senior leaders tried to force their way by changing the route which was resisted by the @assampolice'', the DGP posted on X.

''Participants used force to break down some of the barricades causing injury to some policemen and the general public. Sensing and seeing threat to life and property, @GuwahatiPol used persuasion to turn the event back to the allotted route,” Singh said.

Gandhi's Yatra was to travel from Meghalaya towards Kamrup through Guwahati and there are two major roads with permission given to use one of these after deliberation with the organisers and ASL was done accordingly, he said.

''This was done to present the least inconvenience to general road users. However, participants of the road event insisted on changing the route that would have thrown the city life out of gear and also jeopardised the security of a Z+ category protected person who is part of the road event'', Singh said, referring to Gandhi.

In the video Srinivas shared, he alleged that there is a conspiracy to stop Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra once again by putting up barricades.

''We will not let this happen now...use as many sticks as you want...this war will continue now'', Srinivas said.

During the scuffle, state party president Bhupen Borah and others tried to push through the barricade when he was hit on his wrist by a police baton and fell down on the road, suffering injuries.

Once back on foot, Borah and others climbed over the barricade and started marching down the road, when Guwahati Police Commissioner Diganta Barah prevented them from proceeding further and, along with other police personnel, tried to push them back.

Earlier, while addressing the students on the interstate border, the former Congress president said, ''It is not important if Rahul Gandhi comes or not. What is important is that you are allowed to listen to anybody you want''.

“You have come here because you do not agree with what the chief minister is trying to do. You are not ready to accept an enslaved Assam and I am extremely proud of that,” he added.

The Yatra would be in Assam till Thursday.

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