Assam MLA sent to jail for calling Covid-19 hospitals worse than detention centres
Guwahati/Nagaon, April 7 (PTI): An opposition MLA in Assam was arrested and sent to 14 days’ judicial remand on Tuesday for making “objectionable” remarks about quarantine facilities and hospitals treating Covid-19 patients, calling them worse than detention centres.
Aminul Islam, the All India United Democratic Front legislator from Dhing constituency, was apprehended early Tuesday after preliminary interrogation, Director General of Assam Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta told PTI.
An audio clip of a telephonic conversation purportedly between Islam and another person was doing the rounds on social media, in which the lawmaker can be heard talking “disparagingly” about the quarantine facilities and hospitals.
He also purportedly said these facilities were worse than detention centres.
Hundreds of suspected illegal migrants and doubtful citizens are lodged in detention centres across Assam.
“We have registered a case against him under various sections of the IPC for criminal conspiracy, spreading disaffection between communities, among others,” the DGP said.
He said the Assam Legislative Assembly Speaker has been informed about the development.
Islam was produced before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Gautam Daimary, who sent him to 14 days judicial remand after rejecting police’s request to have the MLA’s custody for five days.
Accordingly, the legislator was sent to Nagaon Central Jail, officials said.
The AIUDF headed by Badruddin Ajmal sought to distance itself from the legislator’s controversial remarks, saying the views are his and the party does not endorse them. The BJP, however, made a scathing attack at the AIUDF on the matter.
Addressing a press conference, Nagaon Superintendent of Police Gaurav Abhijit Dilip said, “We received a complaint last evening about an audio clip allegedly circulated by Aminul Islam. The clip has content which are communal in nature.”
The case was registered at Nagaon police station and the MLA was called for interrogation, he added.
“During interrogation, Islam confessed that the voice in the clip was his. Secondly, he confessed the clip was made by him. The clip was therein his mobile phone also and we seized the phone. He said he had forwarded it to some people,” Dilip said.
All those who had forwarded the clip will also come under the purview of the inquiry and action will be initiated against them, he said, adding,”Investigation is going on to ascertain the role of other people and the motive behind the clip.
Reacting to the development, BJP MLA Rupak Sarmah said, “This MLA has made communal statements on many occasions earlier also and we are ashamed of those. At this moment, there is nothing called Hindu or Muslim. Our only fight is against Covid-19. We need to save people.”
Such communal statements will vitiate the atmosphere when everyone is unitedly fighting against the deadly disease, he added.
“The country is in crisis now. When the entire world is fighting against deadly coronavirus, such statements should not have been made. We have full faith on judiciary and the matter will proceed as per legal system,” AIUDF Organising General Secretary Aminul Islam said in a statement.
He, however, pointed out that many ministers, MPs and MLAs had made such serious statements, but no action has been taken against them.
“We hope they will also be broughtunder the law, which is equal for everyone,” the AIUDF general secretary added.