FIR against 10 for Poem on Assam’s Citizenship Row

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People wait to check their names on the draft list at the National Register of Citizens (NRC) centre at a village in Nagaon district, Assam on July 30, 2018. — Reuters

Caravan News

GUWAHATI – The Assam police on Thursday registered an FIR against 10 people after receiving a complaint about a poem on the citizenship issues faced by sections of the state. Most of them Bengal-origin Muslim poets and activists who write in a dialect colloquially called the ‘Miya’ dialect.

“Yes, an FIR has been registered today. No arrests have been made yet,” Dharmendra Kr Das, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Guwahati Central, was quoted by The Indian Express as saying. They have been charged under sections 420/406 of the IPC, read with various sections of the Copyright Act, 1957, Das said.

The complaint, by one Pranabjit Doloi, refers to a poem written by Kazi Sharowar Hussein. “The accused person’s intention is to depict a picture of Assamese people as xenophobic in the eyes of the whole world, which [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.”

Complaint on the poetry

“Do we not have the right to write a poem on genuine citizens being marked Doubtful voters or being sent to detention camps?” asked activist Abdul Kalam Azad, reacting to the FIR.

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