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Assam BJP leader fuels communal hatred in Sonitpur violence, terms litterateur Syed Abdul Malik as ‘Jihadi’

Fomenting communal hatred into the recent Sonitpur violence, Assam BJP leader Shiladitya Dev has triggered controversy by saying that Syed Abdul Malik (1919–2000), a notable writer of Assamese literature, was a ‘Jihadi’.

“It is a conspiracy that started during Sir Syed Muhammed Saadula’s reign in 1936 to covert Assam into Bangladesh and still the attempt is on. Syed Malik had accelerated ‘intellectual jihad’ with an intention to convert the state into Bangladesh,” Dev told reporters.

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Besides, he said the Sonitpur violence has conspicuously proved it about the “possible consequences the state has to face if Bangladeshi Muslims become majority.”

“I condemn the incident. Rather, I would say, the people who were involved in the violence should be identified as soon as possible and handed over to the public,” he told before the reporters.

Saying that the arms and forces are useless if the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police do not use, he said, “Why are the SP and DC are so scared? Take out arms and rule. It would be a matter of concern if they cannot take prompt action against people who violate law. If they get scared, then the weapons and forces provided to them are useless. These things are provided to them to maintain law and order.”

He further said that the “attempts of the Bangaldeshi Muslims to dominate will decrease once the construction of Ram Mandir is completed.” “After completion of the construction of the Ram Mandir by 2024, there will be Ram Rajya and the attempts of the Bangaldeshi Muslims to dominate will decrease.” He added.

Also read: Assam: CM Sonowal directs DGP to conduct probe into Sonitpur violence

Syed Malik becomes soft target

Syed Abdul Malik has become soft target for many of late in the state. In April this year, Malik was targeted by an English teacher of Mangaldai College over a poem, where she found ‘anti-national’ elements.

On April 21st, 2020, Rupa Rani Bhuyan, the teacher, uploaded a post on her Facebook page where she claimed that through the poem, ‘Moi Asomiya’, poet Syed Abdul Malik glorified the Mughals. This had drawn major controversy leading to police case.

‘Moi Axomiya’ (I am Assamese), an Assamese poem by noted writer-poet-playwright Syed Abdul Malik (1919-2000) has been at the centre of an online controversy since Tuesday. In this poem, Malik, a Padma Bhushan recipient and Sahitya Akademi award-winning author, versifies the Mughal invasion of Assam and narrates how many Muslims who were part of the Mughal soldiery fell in love with Assam and its beauty and decided to assimilate with the Assamese culture by staying back. An ode to Assam’s composite culture, this poem finds itself in the middle of a shocking accusation that it is ‘fundamentalist’, ‘jihadi’ and ‘anti-national’.

Sonitpur violence

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on August 6th, 2020 directed the Director-General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta to conduct a probe into the Sonitpur violence that took place on August 5th, 2020.

At least 12 people were injured and nine bikes were set ablaze in the incident, said GP Singh, ADGP (Law and Order).

The Sonitpur deputy commissioner Manvendra Pratap Singh imposed indefinite curfew in the region with effect from August 5th, 2020 after the clashes erupted between two communities over a rally organised to celebrate the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.

 “Curfew imposed in Sonitpur district in areas falling under Thelamara and Dhekiajuli police stations. Movement of persons without special permission from the district magistrate shall not be permitted with effect from 10 pm of August 5,” Sonitpur deputy commissioner Manvendra Pratap Singh tweeted.

The district magistrate imposed the curfew following a violence erupted between two groups leaving several persons injured and motorcycles damaged. The clash erupted after locals of Thelamara, belonging to a particular community, objected a bike rally taken out by Bajrang Dal activists to mark the Ram Temple event. Later, locals set several bikes and a four-wheeler ablaze.

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