GUWAHATI: Claims that there were chants of “Pakistan zindabad”, allegedly by some supporters of Assam’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) while greeting party chief and MP Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, have triggered protests in Assam.
A 1.12-minute video of the incident has gone viral on social media. Scores of AIUDF supporters had turned up outside the Silchar airport in southern Assam’s Cachar district on Thursday to greet Ajmal.
Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was among those who condemned the controversial slogan.
“Look at the brazenness of these fundamentalists anti-national people who are shouting PAKISTAN ZINDABAD while they welcome MP @BadruddinAjmal,” Sarma tweeted.
He said the incident had thoroughly exposed the Congress which was allegedly encouraging such forces by inching closer to forge an alliance with the AIUDF.
“We shall fight them tooth and nail. Jai Hind,” the Minister further wrote on the micro blogging site.
BJP national general secretary and MP, Dilip Saikia, also took exception to the incident. “What was their motive behind shouting the Pakistan zindabad slogan?” he asked.
Palash Changmai, who is the general secretary of Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad, demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits. “We condemn it. Those who shouted the slogan must be booked immediately and action taken against them as per the law,” he demanded.
The AIUDF claimed none of its supporters had chanted the slogan.
“Our supporters shouted Ajmal zindabad, AIUDF zindabad slogans. The charge that they shouted Pakistan zindabad slogan is a political conspiracy hatched against us by the BJP. We have sought a probe into the incident,” AIUDF spokesman Aminul Islam said.
He added that if indeed somebody shouted the Pakistan zindabad slogan, it had to be the handiwork of the ruling BJP.
The police said they were probing it. No complaint was lodged with the police so far.
“We have received the video footage. We are examining it,” Cachar Superintendent of Police BL Meena told this newspaper.
Recently, Congress MLA Sherman Ali Ahmed stirred a hornet’s nest by backing a proposal of an Assembly panel for the setting up of a “Miya Museum” at the precincts of Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, built in Guwahati in memory of saint-reformer Sankardeva. The demand had made Sarma to threaten to put Ahmed behind bars. The term Miya in Assam is attributed to the Bengali Muslims.
While the Congress is working hard to form a grand alliance of opposition parties ahead of the Assembly elections due early next year, the BJP has been critical of “Mughal aggression”, “love jihad” etc in recent times.