An Opposition MLA in Assam was on Tuesday arrested and slapped with various charges, includingsedition, for allegedly making controversial remarks about the condition of quarantine facilities and the hospitals treating coronavirus patients in the state, Hindustan Times reported. All India United Democratic Front leader Aminul Islam allegedly said that the facilities were “worse than detention centres”.
Assam Police chief Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said Islam was apprehended early on Tuesday morning after preliminary interrogation in the case. “We have registered a case against him under various sections,” Mahanta said. He added that the state Assembly Speaker has been informed about the arrest.
Islam has been booked under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code.
A purported audio clip of Islam’s conversation with another person was shared on social media, where he allegedly said that the living conditions in Assam’s coronavirus quarantine centers were worse than those at the detention centres for “illegal migrants”.
The police said the MLA confessed that the voice on the audio was his and that he circulated the clip on WhatsApp. The police seized his mobile phone after they found the audio in it.
The MLA also accused the Assam government of conspiring against the Muslims, NorthEast Now reported. He also alleged that the hospital staff at the quarantine centres were harassing those who returned after attending the Tablighi Jamaat conference held in Nizamuddin area of Delhi last month. Islam claimed that they were giving injections to the healthy people to show that they are sick.
The health ministry has attributed the huge spike in the country’s coronavirus cases to the religious gathering. Assam has 27 coronavirus cases, after another patient linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event tested positive on Tuesday. Of these, 26 cases are of those people who had taken part in the Nizamuddin gathering.