Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday ordered the state police to arrest Kolkata-based political commentator Garga Chatterjee for making allegedly derogatory remarks by calling the founder of the medieval Ahom dynasty a Chinese invader, his office said.
The chief minister directed Guwahati Police Commissioner Munna Prasad Gupta to arrest Chatterjee and bring him to Assam immediately. The official statement called Ahom king Chaolung Sukapha the “architect of the greater Assam”, according to The Indian Express. It also said that a police team will leave for the West Bengal capital on Friday night itself.
“Why does Sarbananda Sonowal regularly celebrate a Chinese invader and his invading army,” Chatterjee had tweeted on Wednesday. “Why does banned separatist group ULFA also celebrate the Chinese invader? Do real Indians know that Indian tax money is being used by BJP in Assam to put up statues of a Chinese invader?”
Chatterjee, who describes himself as a Bengali nationalist and federalist, made the comments after tensions surged between India and China after a violent face-off on Monday. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the violent face-off at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh. This was the first instance of casualties on the Line of Actual Control since 1975.
In another tweet, which has been deleted now, Chatterjee wrote: “There is a state in India where the ‘State Day’ is celebrated by Assam BJP to commemorate a Chinese invader who brutally attacked India with Chinese troops. This invader is considered a hero by China-funded anti-Indian separatist group ULFA [United Liberation Front of Assam].”
The state government has been observing December 2 as Assam Day or Sukaphaa Divas since 1996 to mark the coronation of Sukapha.
A complaint was filed on Thursday against Chatterjee in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district by a man identified as Bhaskar Gogo. He alleged that Chatterjee had maligned the Bharatiya Janata Party and tried to link the state unit of the party to the banned militant outfit ULFA . “He indirectly targeted Ahom community as well as greater Assamese society with blatant accusation of being Chinese invaders,” the complaint read.