Guwahati: Critising the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said one cannot be arrested for merely raising slogans.
"Where were arms taken up by the students. Arrests have to be made only when arms are taken up or they indulge in violence," Gogoi told reporters when asked to comment on the arrest of Kumar.
"I am not justifying the JNU students' protest. When supporters of ULFA and NDFB raise slogans only, they are not arrested. If the supporters are arrested only for that, then all the jails would be filled up here," Gogoi said.
"We have concentrated on how to bring them (separatists) to the mainstream and bring peace here," he said.
The Chief Minister also criticised the Railway budget, saying that despite the state government's repeated letters and memoranda, the BJP government failed to create a separate railway zone for the Northeast region.
Unlike the present Northeast Frontier Railway that extends beyond the region to include Bengal and Bihar, Gogoi said the new zone would have benefitted the youth of the region by providing them employment opportunities.
He also accused Union minister Sarbanda Sonowal, who hails from Assam, of failing to give proposals that could have benefited the state for inclusion in the budget.