A case was registered against Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly instigating enmity between different groups by making false claims, police said on Tuesday, according to PTI.
On November 7, the minister had shared a video on Facebook, claiming that supporters of All India United Democratic Front MP Badruddin Ajmal were shouting “pro-Pakistan” slogans at Silchar airport in Assam. The social media platform on Monday withdrew restrictions on the video after it had labelled the post as misinformation on Saturday, and prevented users from sharing it.
“A case was registered under relevant sections. We will investigate the matter as per the law,” an unidentified senior police officer told the news agency. Sections 153A that deals with promoting enmity, and 511 (attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the Indian Penal Code were imposed in the FIR, another unidentified official said.
“These sections will be read with Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the IT Act,” a police officer added. The case was registered on Monday.
The complaint was filed by state Congress General Secretary Ranjan Bora, alleging that the Sarma had the “habit” of making communally sensitive comments. The minister’s remarks were made to arouse feelings of “disharmony between different groups”, the complaint added.
“Look at the brazenness of these fundamentalists anti-national people who are shouting PAKISTAN ZINDABAD while they welcome MP [Badruddin] Ajmal,” Sarma had written on Facebook, and shared the video. “This thoroughly exposes Indian National Congress which is encouraging such forces by forging an alliance. We shall fight them tooth and nail. Jai Hind.”
The All India United Democratic Front had clarified that its supporters shouted “Aziz Khan zindabad” for a party leader. The AIUDF is a part of a Grand Alliance in the state with the Congress that may jointly contest Assembly elections, scheduled for next year.
After Facebook had labelled Sarma’s post as misinformation, the minister said that the social media platform had not done so. He had further noted that a case had been registered and that the police will get the video examined.
Meanwhile, Silchar’s BJP MP Rajdeep Roy said he had registered a police complaint against Ajmal and AIUDF supporters for the slogans.