Several police complaints were lodged against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday for alleged hate speech against Bengali-speaking Muslims, often referred to as ‘Miya’ in the State.
This followed the Chief Minister’s statement a few days ago reportedly blaming the skyrocketing prices of vegetables on the monopoly of ‘Miya’ cultivators and traders while urging the Assamese youth to take up farming and other commercial activities to push the ‘Miyas’ out of business.
The first complaint was lodged by the Asom Sankhyalaghu Sangram Parishad at the Nagaon Sadar police station in central Assam. The minority organisation said the Chief Minister was promoting hatred between the ‘Miya’ and the Assamese communities with his controversial remarks.
Assam’s Rajya Sabha member, Ajit Kumar Bhuyan lodged a complaint against Mr. Sarma at the Dispur police station. The Assembly and Secretariat falls within the jurisdiction of this police station in Guwahati. “The Chief Minister has targeted a particular community. There is a stringent law in Supreme Court against those making communal remarks,” Mr. Bhuyan said, demanding Mr. Sarma’s arrest.
The Assam State Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) also lodged a complaint against the Chief Minister for hate speech at the Latasil police station in central Guwahati. “…Chief Minister of Assam, has been making hate speeches on communal lines with an ulterior motive to create division and tensions between two religious communities — Hindus and Muslims,” the complaint signed by State Secretary Suprakash Talukdar and Central Committee Member Isfaqur Rahman read.
The Assam unit of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) wrote to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court requesting judicial action against Mr. Sarma for violating its April 28 order related to hate speech. The party also sought the initiation of Suo-motu contempt proceedings against the Assam government.
“The Chief Minister’s opinion about the Miya community, making them responsible for the price hike of essential commodities in Assam and snatching jobs from the Assamese youths, clearly indicates the divisive politics played by the BJP and its leaders,” State TMC president Ripun Bora said.
The CPI(M) also filed a complaint against All-India United Democratic Front chief and MP Badruddin Ajmal for “making similar hate speeches against the Hindus with communal overtones”.
Seeking appropriate legal action against both the “offenders” under relevant sections of the law, the complaint referred to Mr. Ajmal’s statement on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in western Assam’s Dhubri on July 12.
In that statement, Mr. Ajmal implied that Hindus would end up wearing the same dress, eating the same fish and meat if the proposed UCC comes into force.