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RS MP files police complaint against Himanta for 'Miya' remark

Source: PTI
July 17, 2023 19:17 IST
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An Independent Rajya Sabha MP on Monday lodged a police complaint against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, alleging that the Bharatiya Janata Party leader has made a "hate speech" against the 'Miya' community on the previous day.

IMAGE: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Photograph: ANI Photo

The state Trinamool Congress has written to Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud seeking judicial action against Sarma also for the same remark against the ’Miya' community, a term used for Bengali-speaking Muslims of Assam.

Sarma, while responding to reporters' questions last week on the high price of vegetables in Guwahati, had said, "Vegetables are not priced so high in villages. Here the Miya vendors charge us more. Had it been Assamese vendors selling vegetables, they wouldn't have fleeced their own people."

"I will clear all the footpaths of Guwahati and I urge our Assamese people to come forward and start their businesses," he added.

While AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal said ’Miyas' have been ’hurt' by the chief minister's comment, the Congress and other opposition parties sniffed a collusion between the BJP and the AIUDF in ’communal politics' ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.


’Miya' is originally a pejorative term used for Bengali-speaking Muslims in Assam. In recent years, activists from the community have started adopting this word in a gesture of defiance.

Independent Rajya Sabha MP from the state Ajit Bhuyan said the complaint, filed at Dispur police station here, was regarding ”certain statement made by Constitutional functionaries of our state which are clearly hate speeches against a particular community”.

Bhuyan claimed that such remarks are intended to create a division among different communities in the state and are prejudicial to national integration.

”A closer look at the statement would make it clear that the intention is to promote enmity between different groups on the ground of religion and race,” he said in the complaint, adding that some other ministers and MLAs have also reiterated the CM's statement.

Mentioning a recent Supreme Court direction for cases against hate speeches, Bhuyan sought registration of a case under Sarma under provisions of the Indian Penal Code and ”investigate the matter and to take action”.

While the Dispur police has received the complaint, it is yet to register an FIR against the chief minister, sources said.

Assam TMC president Ripun Bora, in a letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court D Y Chandrachud, prayed for action against Sarma for his ”hate speech' made against the ’Miya' community and initiation of suo motu contempt proceeding against the Assam government.

He maintained that Sarma's statement could ”not only provoke a section of people but also incite communal hatred”.

Bora, a former Rajya Sabha MP, contended that the government of Assam should have taken steps for registering a case in this connection.

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