A police team from Assam which left for the national capital on Friday to conduct a preliminary enquiry into a case of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind chief Maulana Syed Arshad Madani allegedly making a “highly provocative” statement in a meeting in New Delhi, would also interrogate the Jamiat chief if required.
Revealing this, Guwahati Police Commissioner HC Nath said while three FIRs have been lodged in three different police stations in the Assam capital in the last three days accusing Madani of making “provocative” statements, the police have registered these cases under several Sections of the IPC and the Contempt of Courts Act too.
“We have registered the three cases under Sections 120(B) and 153(A) of the IPC. One of the cases also has Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act because the complainant has accused the Jamiat chief of committing a contempt of the Supreme Court,” Police Commissioner Nath told The Indian Express.
The three FIRs have been lodged by three different persons, namely Biswajit Nath, Nitumoni Dutta and Utpal Das. While Nath has named Jamiat chief Madani and noted Guwahati-based intellectual Hiren Gohain in the FIR lodged in the Basistha police station, Dutta and Das have lodged separate FIRs against Madani in the Paltanbazar and Fatasil police stations respectively. Utpal Das also claimed to be convenor of Forum of Conscious Citizens, the Police Commissioner said.
While Section 120(B) of the IPC refers to criminal conspiracy, Section 153(A) deals with promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc.
“The team which left for Delhi will primarily inquire into the sequence of events leading to the Jamiat chief making an allegedly provocative statement centering around the NRC update in Assam in a seminar on Monday. If required, it will interrogate the Jamait Ulema-e-Hind chief too,” Police Commissioner Nath said.
Assam has been witnessing loud protests against the Jamait chief for allegedly making a highly provocative statement in a seminar in the Constitution Club in New Delhi on Monday. According to local media reports, Madani had uttered words like “marenge, maarenge, qatl honge” and “aag lagegi” in the context of a large number of Muslims allegedly getting left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) currently being prepared in Assam. He had allegedly also said that Assam would turn into another Myanmar if names of Muslims were dropped from the NRC.
The seminar titled “Current Political Impasse in Assam: Updating the NRC and the Question of Citizenship” was organized by a little-known group called Delhi Action Committee for Assam (DACA), with Police Commissioner Nath saying members of this group would be the first to be interrogated by the police.
A group of intellectuals from Guwahati who had attended the seminar and had shared the dias with Madani when he had made the “provocative” statement, have also come under severe criticism here for allegedly remaining silent when the Jamiat chief spoke. Groups like the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and AJYCP have also burnt effigies of these intellectuals who included Hiren Gohain, veteran journalist Haider Hussain, former journalist Manjit Mahanta and professors Abdul Mannan and Apurba Kumar Barua. Police have already recorded statements of Hussain and Mahanta here on Friday.