Glare on Madani, Gohain comments

AGP spokesperson Manoj Saikia at the news conference in Guwahati on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati: A city journalist on Tuesday lodged a complaint at Basistha police station against Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind president Maulana Arshad Madani and social scientist Hiren Gohain for alleged communal comments on the NRC update.

Nath said he had written in his complaint that Madani had made comments which could affect communal harmony in Assam while Gohain had supported him.

"Madani also criticised the state government. But the NRC update is being directly monitored by the Supreme Court. So the state government has a secondary and passive role," he said.

Speaking at a public meeting in New Delhi on Monday, Madani had said if panchayat-issued residency certificates are not considered a valid document for claiming citizenship, "lakhs" of women residents will be deprived of their nationality, "turning India into second Myanmar".

Madani said the problem of certificates arose after BJP-led governments came to power at the Centre and in the state.

"An effort is being made to prepare a ground to remove women from the NRC. These are 48 lakh women...They will be deprived of their nationality," he said. "...these people will be pushed out of India. The situation that prevails in Myanmar, they now want to make India a second Myanmar," he added.

Gohain differed with Madani on the number of women who will be affected. "We agree with Madani ji on what he said about the situation. But it is a question of 27 lakh, not 48 lakh women...Why allow 27 lakh people to go into a kind of limbo," he said.

Assam BJP spokesperson Manoj Baruah on Tuesday criticised Madani and said, "There are many forces trying to stop the NRC update. Madani's comments carried a message to destroy Assam. We will not tolerate it. We are astonished at the role of Gohain, a respected intellectual. The government should take stern action against them."

AGP spokesperson Manoj Saikia said Madani and the Congress were trying to create communal tension to scuttle the NRC update. "All illegal migrants who have entered Assam after the midnight of March 24, 1971, irrespective of their religion, will have to go," he said.

Pro-talks Ulfa leader Anup Chetia said, "Madani is trying to destroy the harmony between different communities. Only the writ of the Assamese will apply in Assam. Those who are ashamed to call themselves Assamese should leave the state. We ask the people not to believe them."

Intellectual Abdul Mannan, who was present at the Delhi meeting, said, "There is nothing controversial in Madani and Gohain's speeches. We just discussed the current situation of Assam and the threat felt by the minority people."

Attempts to contact Gohain proved unsuccessful.

But he had earlier said that Madani's comments were his personal view.


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