Even though the decision of Guwahati police to ban rallies and demonstrations in East police district have been welcomed by the people of Guwahati, civil society organisations across the State have strongly condemned the move.
Speaking to ENe, AASU General Secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi, said, ‘Demonstrations and protests are part of democracy, people have a right to agitate for their rights’. He further stated, ‘In a democratic country like India, neither the Government, nor the administration, or the police have the right to ban protests,’ adding, ‘For the larger interest of society, AASU will never stop agitating, be it any part of Guwahati or the State.’
Echoing Gogoi, Pramod Boro, President of All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) stated, ‘People afraid of democracy are anti-democratic people.’ ‘No one should forget that India got Independence only through a democratic movement, otherwise these officers would have been slaves of the British,’ he asserted, adding, ‘So, they should respect democratic values and activities in a non-violent way.’
However, East Guwahati DCP, Hemanta Kumar Das, said, ‘The East police district includes Dispur police station, under which the city witnessed most of its rallies. The increasing number of rallies has brought the city to a standstill many a time.’
Meanwhile, supporting the move, Manish Deka, a resident of Dispur said, ‘Now-a-days agitations and demonstrations in Dispur by diverse organisations has become very frequent in the city, as a result of which common people face severe traffic jams in office hours. So, I think police has taken a correct decision by banning protests in this part of the city.’