This Article is From Dec 29, 2019

Assam BJP MLA Accused Of Provoking Supporters Against Citizenship Amendment Act Protesters

"If they try to hit or even touch any one of our workers, you hit at least ten of them," said Mrinal Saikia at a meet with BJP followers in Chabua.

Assam BJP MLA Accused Of Provoking Supporters Against Citizenship Amendment Act Protesters

Protests against the Citizenship Act began in the Northeast, with Guwahati as its epicentre.

Guwahati:

A civil society group has filed a police complaint against an Assam BJP MLA for allegedly exhorting supporters to hit back at Citizenship Act protesters.

The complaint against Mrinal Saikia, who represents Khumtia constituency in the Assam assembly, was filed in Nagaon after a video of the speech was widely circulated on social media. In it, he is heard telling BJP workers to pay back tenfold to any protester who dares attack them.

"Our workers have tolerated a lot in these days. If anyone comes to burn down your house now, you do the same to them. If they try to hit or even touch any one of our workers, you hit at least ten of them. We are more in number. Ten miscreants don't represent the general public," he said at the meet in Chabua, where BJP MLA Binod Hazarika's house was burnt down.

A senior police officer confirmed receiving the complaint. "We will investigate it and do the needful," he said.

The opposition Congress said that the Sarbananda Sonowal government should act against Mrinal Saikia because it had warned of stringent punishment for anybody provoking further violence. "From the video, it is clear that the BJP MLA was trying to provoke party supporters against protesters. The government should act against him," Debabrata Saikia, leader of the opposition in the Assam assembly, told NDTV.

Mrinal Saikia has tried to underplay the controversy, accusing the media of blowing the issue out of proportion.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, for the first time, makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India before 2015 because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.