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2-min read

BJP Expels Leader After He Threatens Assamese Speaking Students for Protesting Against Citizenship Bill

Pradip Dutta has been expelled for breaking the party discipline and taking a "stand against the party's ideology and position", the expulsion letter by Assam BJP general secretary Dilip Saikia said.

PTI

Updated:January 13, 2019, 11:35 PM IST
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BJP Expels Leader After He Threatens Assamese Speaking Students for Protesting Against Citizenship Bill
Protesters marching against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. (Representative image: PTI)
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Guwahati: BJP expelled its Barak Valley leader Pradip Dutta on Sunday, two days after threatening Assamese speaking students for protesting against the Citizenship Bill at Assam University.

Dutta has been expelled for breaking the party discipline and taking a "stand against the party's ideology and position", the expulsion letter by Assam BJP general secretary Dilip Saikia said.

The letter also said Dutta has been expelled from the primary membership of the party as per the instruction of the state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass with immediate effect.

Dutta had on Friday courted controversy by threatening Assamese speaking students in Bengali-dominated Barak Valley that their admission in Assam University at Silchar would be barred if they protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Dutta, a local leader of the saffron party known for making controversial statements, issued the threat after a section of students of the Assam University raised their voice against the controversial Bill.

"I warn the Assamese (speaking) students of the university that you don't indulge in politics and study only.

Think about the future.We will be otherwise forced to bar admission of Assamese students in the university," Dutta was heard saying in local news channels.

"I am writing to the vice-chancellor of the university asking him what step he is taking against the students for opposing the Bill", Dutta had said in Bengali.

Buckling under Dutta's threat, Assam University on Saturday banned protests inside the campus with immediate effect without prior permission of the vice-chancellor.

In an order, Assam University registrar Sanjib Bhattacharjee directed that no procession/dharna or any sort of gathering of people within the campus without prior approval of the authorities is strictly prohibited until further order.

Cotton University Students Union had filed a complaint at Pan Bazar police station in Guwahati, while another case was lodged at Nagaon by Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad against Dutta for making the communally provocative statement.

Several organisations, including the All Assam Students' Union (AASU), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and Students Federation of India (SFI), have condemned Dutta's threat.

Protesting against the statement, ULFA (pro-talk) general secretary Anup Chetia had said such people are backed by the "government lobby" to fuel "feelings of communalism" between Assamese and Bengali speaking people.

A different section of Assam University students Thursday came out in support of the Bill, while another had taken out a candlelight vigil on Wednesday to protest against it.

The bill seeks to amend Citizenship Act 1955 to grant Indian nationality to people from minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they don't possess any proper document. It has been opposed by a large section of people and organisations in the Northeast.

| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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