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Congress MP files police complaint against Assam CM for ‘revenge’ remarks

In his complaint, Congress MP Abdul Khaleque sought an FIR against Sarma under Sections 153 and 153-A of the Indian Penal Code.

Written by Tora Agarwala | Guwahati |
Updated: December 29, 2021 10:00:52 pm
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (Twitter/@himantabiswa)

Congress MP Abdul Khaleque on Wednesday filed a police complaint against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, accusing him of hate-mongering and provoking people to commit “acts of rioting” against the state’s Muslim community.

Referring to a part of the Chief Minister’s speech in Morigaon district on December 10, on the occasion of Swahid Divas (Martyrs’ Day), where he purportedly described the Gorukhuti eviction exercise as an “act of revenge” for the incidents of 1983, Khaleque accused Sarma of giving a “communal colour to what was supposed to be an executive exercise”.

The Assam government’s eviction drive in September in Darrang district’s Dholpur, where primarily Bengali-speaking Muslims live, was aimed at removing “illegal encroachers” to free up government land for “landless indigenous communities” for an agricultural project at Gorukhuti. It had turned violent, leaving two people, including a 12-year-old, dead.

In his complaint, Khaleque said that the eviction drive had seen “brutal killings” as well as homes being “burnt to the ground”.

“By calling such horrendous acts as revenge, Sri Himanta Biswa Sarma has not only justified the killings and arson committed there, the legality of which is sub-judice before the Gauhati High Court, but he has gone far ahead and communalised the whole exercise – the target of which was the Muslim population living there,” Khaleque wrote in his complaint to the Officer-in-Charge of the Dispur Police Station in Guwahati.

In his Morigaon speech, Sarma had said, “The Gorukhuti land belonged to the Assamese people. That there was a 4,000-year-old Shiva temple there, that its priest was murdered…none of this was written about by the national and international media when they covered the eviction.”

He added: “In 1983, young Assamese boys were murdered in Darrang district… today Assam is bound to take some degree of revenge for those deaths.”

Sarma was referring to eight Assamese youths killed in February 1983 during the Assam Agitation (1979-1985) in Chalkhowa in Darrang district.

In his complaint, Khaleque sought an FIR against Sarma under Sections 153 and 153-A of the Indian Penal Code.

“The Chief Minister of a state has the constitutional obligation to protect its citizens irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Instead of doing so and preserving the social fabric of our beloved state, the Chief Minister is aggravating the situation through his vindictive hate mongering,” Khaleque wrote in his complaint.

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