The burnt articles inside the Kalapani masjid in Salbari sub-division under Gobardhan P.S in Baksa district on Monday morning.

BAKSA,Assam: Unidentified miscreants burnt Islamic religious literature, including 11 copies of the Quran and 3 copies of Hadith (record of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad,) and some other religious articles at Kalapani masjid in Salbari sub-division under Gobardhan P.S in Baksa district of Assam ,130 kms of Assam State Capital Guwahati on Sunday midnight.

The incident happened on the intervening night of March 1, when the masjid’s cleric found the ashes of religious literature, inside the masjid on Monday morning and rang alarm when the masjid management committee and the police rushed in.

The masjid committee immediately lodged an F.I.R narrating the incident and later Baksa police supervised by its Superintendent of Police,Thube Prateek Vijay Kumar reached the spot, pacified the gathering assuring arrest and started investigating the matter.

Following the incident of tearing off and subsequent burning of religious books, hundreds of Muslims, including women took to streets to vent their anger against the BJP government and raised anti-government slogans demanding immediate arrest of the culprits responsible for burning of 14 religious books.

The Muslim community of the area demanded high level probe into the incident and stern action against the culprits.

All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU )General Secretary, Abdur Rahman Biswas condemning the incident said, “Religious minorities are being targeted in the Bodoland Territorial Council(BTC) ahead of the BTC council polls of April, a daily wage earner and member of BPF party, Khairul Haque was shot dead in Udalguri on February 21 and now the religious places of worship and literatures are being targeted. He also appealed every section to maintain peace and tranquility and exhorted the government to ensure safety security of the lives and properties of the religious minorities in Assam. ”

All BTC Minorities Students’ Union(ABMSU) General Secretary, Taison Hussain said , “ We condemn the incident in strong words and appeal everyone in the society to maintain peace . By attacking temples and mosques peace and prosperity can never prevail in the nation and the idea of Akhand Bharat (undivided India) can never be reached.”

He further said , “These are nefarious design of the anti-social activities who have attempted to spew the venom of hate to disrupt the communal brotherhood and integrity in the region ahead of the BTC council polls. The police administration and Village Defence Party(VDP) taking cognizance of the matter must deploy adequate forces in villages and towns of the four BTAD districts viz. Kokrajhar,Chirang,Baksa and Udalguri to thwart any such untoward incidents till the BTC polls gets concluded.”

Ibrahim Ali Ahmed of Baksa Chapter ABMSU said, “ The incident have hurt our religious sentiments and we appeal the Baksa administration to arrest the culprits within 24 hours and we appeal everyone to remain united so that the incident don’t spark any communal tension in other parts of Assam.”

BTC supremo Hagrama Mohillary was quick to smell ‘political conspiracy’ in the incident, and terming it ‘unfortunate’ said a vicious circle, with nefarious design have been putting best efforts to disturb the communal harmony in the Bodo belt ahead of BTC polls scheduled to be held in April. “I will personally talk to Assam Chief Minister,Sarbananda Sonowal for initiating high level inquiry into the incident and arrest of the culprits involved.” Mohillary added.

Superintendent of Police,Thube Prateek Vijay Kumar told this correspondent , “We are investigating the matter and the situation is under control . People of the area are co-operative and we will soon make a breakthrough.”

Sources said that Police and paramilitary forces have also been deployed in the area as a precautionary measure to ensure law and order situation.

Pertinently formed under 6th schedule of the constitution, the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) is an autonomous district council for the Bodoland Territorial Region of Assam state in India. It was established on 10 of February 2003 which has 46 members out of which elections are held every five years for 40 seats. Ever since its inception members of disband insurgent group Bodo Liberation Tiger(BLT)headed by its C-in-C Hagrama Mohillary floated a political party the Bodoland People’s Front(BPF) which is an ally of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam.

Shajid Khan is an independent journalist based in Assam whose works have been published in The New York Times,TheTelegraph,FirstPost among other leading national and international publications. He can be reached at itsshajidkhan@gmail.com


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