In view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation across the state, protest or demonstration by any political party or organization has been prohibited at Dispur outside the Assam Legislative Assembly during the budget session of the assembly, which began on Monday and will continue to August 13.
Kamrup (Metro) deputy commissioner Biswajit Pegu said, “In order to maintain the Covid-19 protocol to prevent the spread of the lethal virus, no permission has been granted officially to anybody to stage protest or demonstration. Basically, gathering is prohibited in the interest of public health.”
Usually, the opposition political parties and different organizations stage protests over various issues facing by the people of the state at designated area on the south side of the assembly during the sessions. The protests cover the prime issues of the people including hike in prices of kitchen essentials, LPG and fuel, unemployment, regularization of contractual jobs in different departments and flood etc.
At present, Kamrup (Metro) district is under 12-hour curfew from 5 pm to 5 am. On July 6, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) issued a revised standard operating procedure imposing round the clock curfew in seven districts, 15-hour curfew (2 pm to 5 am) in 16 districts and 12-hour curfew (5 pm to 5 am) in 11 districts including Kamrup (Metro).
In view of the recent surge in Covid-19 positive cases in the Kamrup (Metro) district, the district administration formed a task force to ensure strict enforcement of the Covid-19 protocols across the district. The inter-district travel is still banned in the state.
Meanwhile, main opposition Congress said the protests should be allowed with “minimum gathering” adhering to Covid-19 protocols.
“Protest is a democratic right. How will people raise their issues if no permission is granted to stage protests? The protests should be allowed with minimum number of persons with face masks and sufficient physical distancing so that people can raise their voice on several issues,” Bobbeeta Sharma, media cell chairperson of the state Congress, said.
Different organizations including Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) said that protest is the one and only weapon of the people to raise their issues. KMSS feels that the protests should be allowed with minimum number of protesters adhering to Covid-19 protocols.