The police in Assam have arrested a Muslim MLA from the Congress for allegedly making provocative statements on the deaths of eight people in the Darrang district in 1983. Sherman Ali Ahmed’s comments had come a week after the Assam Police killed two Muslims.
Ahmed, according to news agency PTI, was picked up from MLA quarters in Dispur and taken to Panbazar police station for questioning.
Ahmed had made the alleged ‘communal’ remarks while reacting to statements made by a few functionaries from the BJP-led ruling alliance that the alleged encroachers in the Darrang district “had killed” eight people in 1983 during the six-year-long Assam agitation. The MLA, for his part, had reportedly refused to call the eight people killed during the 1983 agitation ‘martyrs.’ He had allegedly called them ‘killers,’ who were responsible for the murders of people from the minority community.
Irked by Ahmed’s controversial statements, his party, the Congress, had sought his clarification on his comment through a show-cause notice.
Asking Ahmed to reply within three days, the show-cause notice by the state unit of the Congress had said, “As a lawmaker, your communally provocative comments in media, gnawing at old wounds of the past incidents of Assam Agitation when people of Assam across communities had suffered, is totally insensitive and uncalled for.
“APCC views your comments as politically motivated with intent to cause damage to the Congress party just prior to the bye-elections,”
The Assam Police had faced global condemnation for murdering two Muslims, who they described as alleged encroachers, in the Darrang district. The video of a cameraman jumping on a dying Muslim had gone viral. Incidentally, the police superintendent of the Darrang district is the brother of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had reacted angrily to the murder of two Muslims by the Assam Police by saying that the state was on ‘the state-sponsored fire.’