Assam Congress MP demands removal of Foreigners’ Tribunal member for ‘anti-Muslim’ statement
The Tablighi Jamaat attendees who violated rules along with the members of “Jehadi and Jahil” should not be considered for COVID-19 relief, Baska FT member Kamalesh Kumar Gupta had written to govt.
GUWAHATI: A Congress MP in Assam has demanded the removal of a member of a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) for his alleged statement that the Tablighi Jamaat attendees who violated rules along with the members of “Jehadi and Jahil” should not be considered for COVID-19 relief.
Barpeta MP Abdul Khaleque wrote to state Health Minister to draw the attention of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to a letter allegedly written by Kamalesh Kumar Gupta, a member of FT, Baksa.
“In this letter, dated April 7, he (Gupta) listed donations given by himself and other members and staff of Foreigners’ Tribunal in Baksa to Assam Arogya Nidhi, to combat COVID-19 with a totally reprehensible condition at the end which read as follows: Our only prayer is that the help may not be extended to the members of violators of Tablighi Jamaat, Jehadi and Jahil,” Khaleque wrote.
He said Gupta’s statement was in violation of Section 153(A)(1)(a) of the IPC that criminalizes people who by words, either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.
He alleged the officer had stoked disharmony, ill-will, feelings of enmity and hatred between different communities and that his affirmative act in creating and signing the letter was deeply prejudicial to harmony between religious communities.
“We humbly submit that this particular officer’s act is even more harmful and consequential in the current national and regional atmosphere in which COVID-19 is deeply feared and anti-Muslim sentiments have spread all over the country through communal speech linking Muslims to COVID-19. Muslims across India are living in fear of religious hatred and action against them and actions such as of this officer may increase this fear,” Khaleque wrote.
He added: “It is submitted that Mr. Gupta, by directly linking his communal and anti-Muslim opinions to his work as a member of the Tribunal, and by using his official title and letterhead, has made clear that his biased opinions have entered his work persona and official role. These inflammatory opinions were made publicly and in his official capacity. His bias having been linked to his official role makes him not fit for his work as an adjudicator of citizenship.”
Observing that Gupta’s decisions, in matters pertaining to citizenship, will be tainted by anti-Muslim bias, Khaleque submitted he be removed from his position as a member of the FT, Baksa as there was widespread apprehension he would not decide cases on merit but with communal prejudice.