Guwahati: Alleging for instigating enmity amongst different groups to disturb public tranquilities through media pieces on the backdrop of the recent Gorukhuti-Dholpur eviction drive against the illegal settlers, an anti-influx forum has lodged a first information report (FIR) against Suraj Gogoi (a Singapore-based Assamese researcher), Angshuman Chowdhury (associated with New Delhi-based Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies) and Suresh Nambath (editor of The Hindu).
In the FIR submitted to the officer-in-charge of Latasil police station in the city on Wednesday (October 6), Prabajan Virodhi Manch (PVM) argued that all the mentioned individuals ‘attempted to incite hatred against the Assamese community by implying that the Assamese people do not bear true faith to the rule of law established by the Constitution’ and thus the entire community is hateful and bigoted.
Mentionable is that Gogoi wrote an article in The Hindu newspaper, which is also available in the digital space, throwing light on the recent eviction drive against encroachers in the Sipajhar locality of Darrang district where the writer tried to convince the readers about how ‘Assamese nationalism’ played a part in the drive and the violence that accompanied the government action.
The article titled ‘The Scorching Rays of Assamese Nationalism’ made special reference to the district authority-hired photographer Bijoy Bania, who pounced on an injured agitator and lately arrested by the State police. In this article, there are many instances of offensive speech being made against Assam and its largest community (Assamese), the FIR stated.
The article tried to conclude that the unfortunate death of an agitator (Moynul Haque) and defiling of the victim in Gorukhuti-Dholpur was an act of political sadism. The writer also described that reactions to the concerned incident among journalists, politicians, and other foot soldiers of Assamese nationalism reveal how hatred has crystallised into the ‘caste Assamese social structure’ and how benumbed they are.
Serious insults were floated against the entire Assamese community in the article, where Gogoi deliberately promoted ‘disharmony, feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will towards the Assamese community amongst the other groups and communities of the country. The FIR asserted that the communist visibly represented by words that Assamese people do not bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India, as by the law established.
In a separate piece titled ‘On Moynul Haque and Bijoy Bania’, which is available in his personal blog, Chowdhury compared Bania (the photographer) with the local hero Lachit Borphukan of the Ahom era. “Bijoy is a warrior. A bit like Lachit Borphukan, maybe. He is the MVP of modern Assamese history, the frontline commander in the Battle of Saraighat. He is the batman of Assamese Jatiyatabad,” described Chowdhury.
Later on, receiving strong reactions from the people across social media, he edited the sentence with the deletion of Lachit Borphukan. But the edited article contains criminally motivated statements against the Ahom warrior with an intention to incite rioting. It added that such an insult to a national hero like Lachit Borphukan is an attempt to give provocation to cause riots besides encouraging enmity towards the Assamese community by other groups in the country.
“In this manner, the accused persons are guilty of committing offences under Sections 153, 153-A, 153-B, 505, 34, of the Indian Penal Code, 1860,” informed senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika, who leads PVM adding that the FIR endorsed by Akash Kalita, Birajmohan Hazarika, Deepjyoti Kalita and Biman Prashad Borkakoti urged the responsible police officer to register a case against the three accused individuals to bring the matter to its logical conclusion.