Assam MLA jailed for calling COVID hospitals worse than detention centres

The remark comes amid hundreds of suspected illegal migrants being lodged in detention centres in Assam

During interrogation, Islam had confessed that the voice in the clip was his. Photo: ANI

Quarantine facilities and hospitals are worse than detention centres, an opposition MLA in Assam says in telephonic conversation that has landed him in prison.

Aminul Islam, the All India United Democratic Front legislator from Dhing constituency, on Tuesday (April 7) was imprisoned for 14 days on charges of making “objectionable” remarks about the facilities and hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

An audio clip of the telephonic conversation has been doing the rounds on social media. Islam’s remark came amid hundreds of suspected illegal migrants being lodged in detention centres across Assam.

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“We have registered a case against him (Islam) under various sections of the IPC for criminal conspiracy, spreading disaffection between communities, among others,” said Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, adding that the Speaker had been informed about the development.

Earlier, Islam was produced before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Gautam Daimary, who sent him to 14 days judicial remand after rejecting polices request to have the MLAs custody for five days. Accordingly, the MLA was sent to Nagaon Central Jail, officials said.

The AIUDF, headed by Badruddin Ajmal, sought to distance itself from the legislator’s controversial remark, saying the party did not endorse it. The BJP, however, made a scathing attack at the AIUDF on the matter.

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Addressing a press conference, Nagaon Superintendent of Police Gaurav Abhijit Dilip said, “We received a complaint last evening about an audio clip allegedly circulated by Aminul Islam. The clip has content which are communal in nature.”

“During interrogation, Islam confessed that the voice in the clip was his. Secondly, he confessed the clip was made by him. He said he had forwarded it to some people,” Dilip said.

All those who had forwarded the clip will also come under the purview of the inquiry and action will be initiated against them, he said. The investigation is going on to ascertain the role of other people and the motive behind the clip, Dilip added.

(With inputs from agencies)