FIR against Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma for ‘hate’ speech

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Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma addresses a gathering during BJP's Jan Ashirwad Yatra, at Sironj in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh, on Sept.  18, 2023.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma addresses a gathering during BJP’s Jan Ashirwad Yatra, at Sironj in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh, on Sept. 18, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Senior Assam Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia on September 20 filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for alleged ‘hate’ speech.

The FIR lodged with the Nazira Model Police Station in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district said the Chief Minister incited violence and arson against former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her family.

Mr. Saikia said the Assam Chief Minister used “banal and hateful” words during the BJP’s Jan Ashirwad Rally in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh on September 19.

Mr. Sarma took electoral rhetoric to its ugliest form in a country governed by the rule of law, the Congress MLA — also the Leader of the Opposition in the 126-member Assembly — wrote in the police complaint.

“While taunting Sri Kamal Nath, a prominent member of the Indian National Congress about his Hindu identity, Sri Sarma has directly suggested that 10 Janpath should be burnt,” his FIR read.

Mr. Saikia said Mr. Sarma clearly instigated violence and arson. He pointed out that 10 Janpath was the residence of Ms. Gandhi, the wife of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

“By suggesting that the residence of a 77-year-old lady be burnt down, Sri Sarma is not just attacking a prominent face of the Opposition but he is giving a clarion call towards arson,” Mr. Saikia leader said.

“Such wanton statements coming from a Constitutional authority has the potential of causing misguided persons to resort to violence and potentially cause harm to the residents of 10 Janpath. This is a clear instigation towards rioting and abetment of arson on the part of Sri Himanta Biswa Sarma and he is liable to be booked under Sections 153 and 115/436 of the Indian Penal Code,” Mr. Saikia said.

He said the statement made by the Chief Minister was widely circulated over print, electronic, and social media and it was accessible in Assam.

“Accordingly, the effects of the instigation and violent rhetoric is felt within your good office’s jurisdiction. I, therefore, implore you to register an FIR and take necessary action in this regard,” Mr. Saikia wrote in his complaint.

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