November 25, 2022

Police arrest 5 people and raise terrorism charges

The cost of opening a museum to exhibit the cultural attributes of the Miya community has weighed heavily as police yesterday arrested Assam’s President and Secretary General Miya Parishad along with three others for their alleged association with terrorist groups under the strict Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The arrests were made regarding the “Miya Museum” which had been opened by a Mohor Ali to display the cultural attributes of the community in a house he obtained through Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in Goalpara, Assam. The museum was inaugurated on October 23 and was able to survive just two days before being sealed by the district administration.

According to PTI reports, Miya Parishad Chairman, M Mohar Ali was arrested by police at the museum as he sat on a dharna, while its General Secretary Abdul Baten Sheikh was arrested at his residence in Alamganj in Dhubri district. October 25.

Ahom Royal Society member Tanu Dhadumia, who inaugurated the museum, was picked up from his residence in Kawamari village in Dibrugarh, the information added.

A senior police official said the trio were taken to Nalbari in connection with a case registered at Ghograpar police station under various UAPA sections for investigation and questioning for their alleged association with militant outfits. ‘Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Ansarul Bangla Team (ABT).

The five men have all been taken to court. Ali, Sheikh and Dhadumia were detained for two days, while the other two received five days in custody.

Speaking to Outlook earlier, Abdur Rashid Mondal, Congress MP from Goaplara District, said it was a “separatist” move by BJP-sponsored “social brokers”.

Lok Sabha Congressman Abdul Khaleque also told PTI, “People have a cultural right to establish a museum or a library in their house, but I don’t think a community museum is necessary.” However, Khaelque added that it is unfair to arrest someone for opening a museum.

AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam told PTI that while his party is not in favor of such efforts, one needs to look at the other aspects that have led to the situation. “Community members have felt humiliated over the years and this may be a reaction to their pent up frustration,” he added.

Noting that this trend is very new, the MP said, “It is only in recent years that we hear about things like the Miya Museum, schools, poetry and even the demand for self-governing councils including Dhubri and Barpeta. These are the work of certain forces with vested interests in threatening the culture and identity of Assamese society.

(With PTI inputs)