Protests erupted in Assam against the citizenship law in December (File)
Of the five people who were killed during protests over the contentious citizenship law in Assam in December, only three died in firing by the police, the Assam government claimed on Monday. The two others, the Assam government said, died in attacks by troublemakers.
Responding to a question during an Assam Legislative Assembly session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said, "Two other persons Deepanjol Das and Azizur Rahman, who died during the anti-CAA protests, were killed in attacks by miscreants" and not in police firing.
The minister added the government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the deaths due to police firing, but a report has so far not been received. A total of 430 anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest-related cases have been registered and 573 people have been arrested across Assam, he said.
"Out of them, 384 have got bail and 189 are in jail," Mr Patowary, who was speaking on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, said.
On Monday, the opposition parties – Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) – created ruckus over the allegedly "politically motivated" arrests of activists and protestors in the state for various law and order violation cases during the CAA protests.
The opposition wanted to question the arrest of the Right to Information (RTI) activist and Assam peasant leader Akhil Gogoi by the National Investigation Agency. The speaker, however, didn't allow a discussion over the matter and this led to a walkout by the opposition.
Protests erupted in Assam against the citizenship law in December, claiming it is "injustice" to the voice of the people.
People in Assam fear the law will alter their "ethnic identities".
The controversial law expedites Indian citizenship for undocumented non-Muslim migrants from the three neighbouring countries — Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The CAA, for the first time, makes religion the test of Indian citizenship. The government says it will help non-Muslim refugees from three Muslim-dominated neighbouring countries if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say the bill discriminates against Muslims and violates secular tenets of the Constitution.