Crackdown on drugs, border disputes mark 100 days of Himanta government

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Congress in Assam on Sunday asked the police why no action was taken against Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for his “Jai Bangladesh” remark in the Assembly two years ago.

“We won’t give protection to anyone for any act that is against the law. But we cannot accept police inaction against BJP MPs and Ministers found taking the law into their hands,” state Congress chief Bhupen Kumar Borah said.

“Let the organisations going after us also talk about the person who shouted the ‘Jai Bangladesh’ slogan in the Assembly. Why was no action taken against the Chief Minister?” he asked.

The issue was raked up in the wake of the arrest of Congress MLA, Sherman Ali Ahmed for his provocative statement on the killing of eight youth at Darrang during the Assam Agitation in 1983. The statement had triggered protests in parts of the state, much to Congress’ embarrassment.

The party served a show-cause notice on Ahmed and is likely to suspend him by Sunday night.

Following his arrest, the MLA had demanded, “Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma should be arrested for making communal remarks”.

In December 2019, Sarma, who was then serving as a minister, had made the statement when some members of the Opposition were protesting the introduction of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Assembly. Later, an FIR was filed against him.

Stating that the Constitution of India and the law have fixed accountability for the police, Borah asked, “Will the police function as dictated by the Ministers and the MLAs or the Police Act?”

Miffed over Ahmed’s provocative statement, BJP legislator Diganta Kalita said the Congress MLA should be driven out of the state.

“He should be driven out of Assam. Let him serve as an MLA in Bangladesh. We feel ashamed that he sits alongside other elected members in the Assembly,” Kalita said.

He alleged the Congress MLA was working in the interest of the “Miyas” (Bengali Muslims) and not the Assamese.