GUWAHATI: Another FIR has been registered in Assam against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her speech warning of 'civil war and bloodbath' in the state over the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) issue. This is the fourth FIR that has been registered against her in the ongoing row.
The FIR accuses Banerjee of making an inflammatory speech that was aimed at disrupting communal harmony and order in Assam. Three previous FIR, which level similar charges against the mercurial Trinamool chief since Tuesday, when she made the contentious remarks.
"The NRC is being done with a political motive. We will not let this happen. They (BJP) are trying to divide the people. The situation cannot be tolerated. There will be a civil war, bloodbath in the country," Banerjee had said at a conclave of Catholic Bishops in New Delhi on July 31.
The response to the remark was quick. A number of political leaders hit out at her, and two members of her own party had quit saying Banerjee had made such a statement without much knowledge of the ground realities in Assam.
Mamata Banerjee has been among the loudest voices against the NRC after it was released on July 30. The first draft of the NRC contained the names of 2.89 crore people out of the 3.29 crore who had applied for the inclusion of their names on the rolls.
The omission of about 40 lakh names from the first draft had led to immediate accusations from opposition parties that the BJP was using the exercise to target particular communities. However, after its initial attacks, the Congress tempered its stance saying it supports the NRC, but had problems with its implementation.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) had been updated in Assam on the 2014 order of the Supreme Court. The top court said only those who had been living in Assam in 1971 could be considered citizens of India.
The demand for the updating the NRC in Assam is an old one. It was a key demand of the Assam Agitation of the early 1980s, which culminated in the Assam Accord of 1985. The agitation had been focused on securing the rights of the people of the state of Assam. The threat, the agitators said, came from the immigrants who had flooded into Assam during and after the events of late-1971 and early-1972, which led to the birth of the nation of Bangladesh.
(With inputs from ANI)