FIRs against 10 for poems that try to ‘hinder NRC’ in Assam

GUWAHATI: Hours after a journalist and a BJP member filed two FIRs at two different police stations against 10 persons, accusing them of trying to defame the Assamese community as ‘xenophobic’ in a video compilation of poems that was telecast by Al Jazeera, president of a literary organization, who is among the accused, issued a public apology for the video on Friday.

Police have registered the FIRs under Section 66 of IT Act of 2000, which refers to “computer-related offences”. No arrests have been made so far, police said.

Guwahati-based journalist Pranabjit Doloi, in his FIR at Panbazar police station in the city, has alleged that the 10 persons were trying to “hinder the process of NRC” with “mala fide intention to create communal disturbances in the state and defame the Assamese people as xenophobic in the world”. The other FIR has been filed by BJP member Tabibur Rahman at Changsari police station in Kamrup district.

President of Char-Chapori Sahitya Parishad, Hafiz Ahmed, one of the accused, issued a statement saying, “Our attention has been drawn to the controversy on a video of compiled poems. We can never think of insulting Assamese nationalism. As an Assamese myself, my work in spreading Assamese language and culture is well-known among the conscious people of Assam. If the poems have hurt the sentiments of any of my fellow Assamese people, I apologize.”

Ahmed’s poem in the video, “Write down I am Miya”, has been inspired by “Identity Card”, a work of the Palestinian national poet and one of the most influential writers of the Arab world, Mahmoud Darwish.

In his FIR, complainant Doloi stated: “The accused person’s intention is to depict a picture of Assamese people as xenophobic in the eyes of the whole world. This is a serious threat to the Assamese people as well as towards the national security and harmonious social atmosphere. The real intention of this poem is to motivate and provoke their community against the system and society.”

Doloi also alleged that these poems were posing a “serious threat to the national security of the country and it may obstruct the process of NRC update. This is because the writer has mentioned the NRC Serial number at the very starting stanza, which is a contempt of court and it may lead to communal violence in the state of Assam at the time of NRC update”.

However, Ahmed said that the poem was written in 2016 and has no connection with the NRC update process.

Source: Times of India