MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Saturday, 22 June 2024

Himanta Biswa Sarma faces hate speech charge over Lok Sabha campaign in Jharkhand

Sarma has claimed 40 per cent of the state’s population are 'illegal' Bangladeshi immigrants, that 1.25 crore of Bangladeshis have “infiltrated” into Assam in the past 40 years and that that 40 MLAs in Assam and other persons holding good positions are 'also Bangladeshi immigrants'

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 18.05.24, 08:49 AM
Himanta Biswa Sarma addresses a press conference in Ranchi on Wednesday.

Himanta Biswa Sarma addresses a press conference in Ranchi on Wednesday. PTI picture

A complaint each has been lodged with the Assam police and the Election Commission of India on Thursday seeking action against Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for his purported hate speeches against the Bengali and Muslim communities while campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand.

Kalparnab Gupta, chief convener, Barak Democratic Youth Front, lodged a complaint through email to the Cachar district police chief seeking registration of an F. I. R. Against chief Minister of Assam for his “recent provocative and hate speeches against the Bengali people of Assam based on both language and religion”.

ADVERTISEMENT

Another complaint was lodged by Assam TMC chief Ripun Bora against Sarma with the chief election commissioner “for gross violation of the model code and conduct of ECI by making hate speech against the Muslim community in election campaign meeting at Jharkhand” on May 15.

In his complaint, Gupta, citing media reports, said Sarma has claimed 40 per cent of the state’s population are “illegal” Bangladeshi immigrants, that 1.25 crore of Bangladeshis have “infiltrated” into Assam in the past 40 years and that that 40 MLAs in Assam and other persons holding good positions are “also Bangladeshi immigrants”.

“Mr Sarma further appealed to the people of Jharkhand, if such Bangladeshi infiltrators are found anywhere, to break down their legs...Through these alleged provocative and false statements, Mr Sarma malafidely instigated the people of Jharkhand vis-a-vis people living in other states than Assam to assault Bengalis and Muslims on false charges of being Bangladeshis,” Gupta stated in his complaint.

The BDYF is the youth wing of the Barak Democratic Front, a political party set up in 2020 espousing the cause of the Bengali-majority Barak Valley in south Assam.

Gupta then refers to the exercise to update of the 1951 National Register of Citizens to weed out illegal immigrants in Assam. “In the final NRC published on August 31, 2019, only 19 lakhs, which accounts for less than 6% applicants got excluded on suspicion of being Foreigners and the Appeal stage is still pending. After the appeal process, no. of illegal immigrants can be ascertained.”

“Before this how can Mr Sarma holding the responsible post of chief minister of Assam, can provoke the people to assault people on allegations of being Bangladeshi immigrants. The people of Assam belonging to Bengali linguistic community as well as Muslim minority community have started feeling insecure while travelling out of Assam...,” Gupta stated while seeking registration of an FIR against him.

Sarma had made the claim of 1.25 crore Bangladeshis having infiltrated Assam over the 40 years during an interaction with mediapersons in Jharkhand. Sarma been heading the BJP-led coalition government in the state since May 10, 2021. He was urging the people of Jharkhand to check the influx before it is too late.

Assam TMC chief Ripun Bora in his complaint to the Chief Election Commissioner of India said Sarma during his campaign speech in Jharkhand on May 15 “incited and instigated the Hindu community against the Muslim community” by purportedly saying the Mughals had made the entire country “dirty” and “now we Hindus must clean it”.

Bora also stated in his complaint that Sarma allegedly incited the people by saying if BJP gets 400 seats this time, then “the Baba Vishwanath temple will be built at the site of Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and that Muslims must not be allowed to keep such huge sum of money while referring to the arrest of Jharkhand minister Alamgir Alam in a money laundering case. Over 35 crore was reportedly recovered during raids from Alam’s associates.

Sharing the link of the speeches with his complaint seeking action against Sarma, Bora said the speeches have “created hatred” against the Muslim community and also “instigated” the Hindus against the Muslims which is “unconstitutional” and a “serious violation of the model code of conduct” of the ECI in view of ongoing general elections.

Assam population is over 3.12 crore and the population of Muslims is about 34.22 per cent as per the 2011 census. Influx has remained a sensitive issue in the state since the late seventies.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT