Congress MLA Ali Ahmed arrested on sedition for comment against Assam Movement

Assam police arrested Congress MLA Sherman Ali Ahmed on the charge of sedition for the remarks he made on the 1983 Assam Movement while speaking on the recently forced eviction drive and police killings of two Muslims in Dholpur. Officials of Dispur police station in Guwahati picked up the Baghbor MLA from his residence on Saturday evening.

“Questioning is underway. We received a few FIRs against him,” Special DGP GP Singh said.

Sherman Ali Ahmed who is a three-time MLA from the Baghbar Assembly constituency had told the media that eight people killed in the Dholpur region in 1983, during the Assam Movement, were not martyrs, but “Ghatok (killers),” since they were also responsible for the death of many others from the Miya (Bengali-speaking Muslim) community. MLA claimed that the Miya community had killed the eight Assamese youths in order to “save themselves”.

“They (killed during Assam Movement) had killed many during that time in the name of the movement. As villagers were scared of them, the villagers killed the youths to defend themselves,” Sherman Ali Ahmed said.

Ali was was earlier with the All India United Democratic Front, before he contested on Congress tickets in 2016 and 2021.

Several organisations including the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party and ally the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) criticised MLA for “disrespecting” the “martyrs” and demanded the arrest of Congress lawmaker. The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) had also served a show-cause notice to MLA for “deliberately acting in a way calculated to lower the prestige of the Congress.”

The Assam Movement was mostly led by student groups like AASU, who were demanding immediate “detention, disenfranchisement and deportation” of all “foreigners”. The movement reached its bloody climax on February 18, 1983, when more than 2000 Bengali Muslims were brutally massacred in villages across Assam’s central Nellie district.