Guwahati, July 12, 2019
The Assam police have registered a case against 10 people after receiving complaints over a poem on the Citizenship issues faced by a section of the people in the state amid the works of the National Register of Citizens(NRC). Most of the people are reported to be Bengal-origin Muslim poets and activists who’s works are often referred to ‘Miya’ dialect.
“An FIR has been registered today. No arrests have been made yet,”, said Dharmendra Kr Das, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Guwahati Central, as quoted by The Indian Express.
The 10 of them have been booked under Sections 120b, 153a, 295a and 188 of the IPC, read with section 66 of the IT Act.
The complainant, Pranabjit Doloi, has referred to a poem written by Kazi Sharowar Hussein. “The poem is a threat to the Assamese community including the national security provoking breach of peace. The person’s intention is to depict a picture of Assamese people as xenophobic,”.
Meanwhile activitists reacting to the FIR have questioned if they do not have the right to write a poem on “genuine citizens being marked Doubtful voters”.
Hussein on July 10th, 2019 shared on his Facebook timeline and claimed that he is “deeply saddened with the reports of his poem” where a section of the people are trying to “label” him as “anti-state”. “Do i not have the right to speak up in a democratic country like India”, Hussein questioned.
It may be mentioned that the poetry form “Miyah poetry” earlier this month was criticised by noted Assamese scholar and public intellectual, Hiren Gohain who critiqued “discourse of Miyah poetry” in a news article. Gohain reportedly called it an “artificial dialect” and questioned why the new generation of Miyah poets do not use Assamese language to write their piece.