Police in Assam have arrested an MLA from All India United Democratic Front (AIDUF), Aminul Islam, for allegedly making communal remarks about the coronavirus pandemic. His audio had gone viral on social media platforms particularly WhatsApp. Islam, who represents Dhing assembly constituency in Assam, is accused of making ‘objectionable’ comments about the condition of the state’s quarantine facilities and discriminatory treatment of some patients. A sedition case has been filed against him.
In his viral audio message, Islam had allegedly termed the quarantine facilities and hospitals treating COVID-19 patients worse than detention centres. In the audio, the AIDUF MLA is heard in conversation with another person.
Islam accused the state’s BJP government of ill-treating Muslims particularly those, who recently visited Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz, adding that even healthy Muslims were being given injections make them look like sick and coronavirus patients.
Assam’s Director General of Police, Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, told news agency PTI that a case had been registered against Islam under various sections of the IPC for criminal conspiracy, spreading disaffection between communities, among others.
Mahanta said that the Assam Assembly Speaker too had been informed about Islam’s arrest. According to police, Islam has reportedly confessed to making the comments in the viral audio.
The MLA was taken for questioning on Monday night before being formally arrested on Tuesday morning. A local court has sent him to judicial custody.
Assam has recorded 26 positive COVID-19 cases so far with no fatalities.