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How an ‘understanding’ crowd & a journalist helped solemnise 2 Assam weddings amid violence

Assam has been on the boil over the new citizenship law that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh & Afghanistan.

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Guwahati: Amid the violence on the streets of Guwahati against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Narendra Modi government, two weddings managed to take place on 12 December in the Assam city — thanks to large-hearted protesters and a journalist.

The first wedding was that of a 40-year-old man, Amit Roy.

Roy’s uncle, Sanjive Narain, is the owner of Assamese news channel Prag News. Narain said he appealed to the demonstrators that day to let the ‘baraat’ pass through, and they made way for it.

“I could not afford to not let this wedding happen. My nephew finally agreed to get married after all these years. There was violence on the streets, and we had to travel from Parnil Palace to Nakshatra Hotel where the wedding was to be solemnised. While normally, the 8-km route would take 15 minutes to cover, that night it took us over two hours,” Narain told ThePrint.

He said while the ‘baraat’ was originally meant to comprise nearly 150 people, only three SUVs had gone to the wedding venue.

“There was fire on the roads, blockades and protesters. I had to keep getting down from the vehicle and appeal to the people to let us go. I told them that I have to ensure this marriage takes place. They were quite understanding and removed the blockades for us to pass through,” he said.

Narain said 500 guests had been invited to the wedding, but only 30 people — including the groom and the bride — could manage to attend.

Also read: ‘Face of Assam protest’ Zubeen Garg has message for Modi, Shah — don’t treat us like dustbins

How a journalist helped a bride meet his groom

The second wedding was an archetypal example of a scene straight from a Bollywood potboiler.

When a New Delhi-based journalist working with a news channel landed in Guwahati to cover the protests, and reached his hotel on 12 December, he found a bride all dressed up in her wedding finery, and her parents looking tense and worried.

He found out that the groom was not able to make it to the wedding venue because of the violence on the streets.

Some phone calls and a few hours later, an ambulance arrived at the hotel carrying the groom. It turned out that the journalist had managed to get through some officials who arranged an ambulance to pick up the groom and drop him at the hotel.

Nearly 300 invitees were expected at the wedding but only less than 50, including guests from the girl’s side who were already present at the hotel, attended it.

Assam has been witnessing protests for the last several days over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there.

Assam opposes the Act because it wants all ‘illegal’ immigrants to be kept out — irrespective of religion.

Also read: Assam’s fears rooted in history, unlike the communal spin Indian ‘intellectuals’ gave to CAB


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