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Protest at Jantar Mantar against Assam Govt’s ‘Anti-Muslim Policies’

Hate-filled propaganda against Muslims, eviction of poor people and demolition of madrassas are some of the major issues raised during the three-hour sit-in

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Over 400 people and activists from All BTC Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU), on Thursday, held a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi against anti-Muslim policies adopted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam.

Hate-filled propaganda against Muslims, eviction of poor people and demolition of madrassas are some of the major issues raised during the three-hour sit-in. The protesters raised slogans against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and the Assam government and demanded justice for Muslims. They have also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister office (PMO). 

“ABMSU is anguished, disturbed and concerned of the majoritarian politics of the BJP government which is demonizing the over one crore Muslims of the state every day. The BJP leaders are not only spreading hatred on a daily basis but also abuse the Muslims in the media and social media. This government and their action is totally anti-minority which is further isolating the Muslims, one of the most marginalized and backward communities in Assam,” said Taison Hussain, general secretary of ABMSU.

Activist and Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Nadeem Khan also took part in the protest.

According to the ABMSU, the Assam government has evicted over 4,449 families, mostly Muslims, making them homeless since Himanta Biswa Sarma became the chief minister of the state in May last year as per the state assembly data. The government has neither given any alternative land to the evicted nor any kind of government help. Most of the victims belong to the marginalised Muslim community. Some are still living in the makeshift huts in dire need of essentials. 

Hussain pointed out that the evicted people are erosion-affected, lost their lands to erosion and floods and are forced to live on the government lands for ages. According to Government data, from 1954 to 2007 about 2.8 million bighas of land in Assam was lost to erosion.

“The “Right to Shelter” is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India. Being a welfare state, the state is duty bound to give shelter to each and every landless citizen. But, the Assam government has been carrying out random evictions of landless people, more particularly belonging to minority Muslims, making them roofless and shelter-less. This violates the basic human rights of the people, reflecting the anti-minority attitude of the government,” he said.

ABMSU also slammed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for failing to arrest the culprits who killed its former ABMSU president martyr Lafiqul Islam Ahmed even after five years of his assassination. Ahmed was shot dead by miscreants in Kokrajhar in August of 2017.

Raising the issue of the madarasa demolition, the ABMSU said, “The recent demolition of a madrassa is another attack on the religious identity of Muslims living in the state. All kinds of anti-national activities should be stopped and any kind of Anti-India act should be dealt with by the law of the land. Demolishing madrassa without following due process of law in the pretext of ‘Jehadi’ activities is nothing but violation of fundamental rights of minorities guaranteed by the Constitution of India. This arbitrary act of the government is politically motivated to create a fear psychosis among the Muslims”.

The student union also slammed the government for leaving the NRC process in limbo and asked the Registrar General of India (RGI) to notify it.

“The poor Muslims and Hindus are being harassed in the name of D-Voters and Foreigners Tribunal cases which don’t follow any process of law,” said the group.

The ABMSU demanded an end to the eviction of people, demolition of houses and madrasas, compensate the Muslim families affected by conflicts and violence and provide justice to family members of Ahmed.

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