Assam: BJP MLA from Hojai, Shiladitya Dev has landed himself in trouble again for “derogatory remarks” against the revered scholar Syed Abdul Malik. Various organisations have filed over half-a-dozen complaints against the controversial BJP MLA days after he termed Syed Abdul Malik an “intellectual jihadi”.
Congress MP Abdul Khaleque called Dev a “mad person” who should be sent to “mental asylum” for his frequent controversial and communally-sensitive statements. While another Congress leader Kamal Kumar Medhi described him as the “Rakhi Sawant of the BJP”, in a reference to the Bollywood actor who is known for making controversial remarks. The Congress’ minority department lodged a complaint at the Hatigaon police station in Guwahati on Sunday against Dev and demanded immediate arrest of the legislator from the Hojai constituency.
The Sadou Asom Goria-Moria-Deshi Jatiya Parishad has also filed complaints at different police stations in Barpeta, Dhubri and Morigaon districts. While the Sadou Asom Goria Yuva-Chatra Parishad filed a report at Jalukbari police station in Guwahati.
The Asom Songrami Yuva Manch, too, filed a complaint at the Hatigaon police station and demanded strict action against Dev.
“What Shiladitya said, I oppose it and strongly condemned it,” BJP leader Aowal said. “If he does not apologise publicly, then I will always take a strong stand against him.”
Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi strongly condemned Dev’s derogatory remarks against Malik, a highly-respected poet, novelist, and short-story writer.
Asam Sahitya Sabha president Kuladhar Saikia condemned the “controversial remarks” against Malik.
Dev had last Friday said that Malik was a poet who was indulging in “intellectual jihad”. He made the remarks while commenting on the recent communal clash in Sonitpur district on the day of the foundation stone-laying of Ram temple.
Cutting across political affiliations, this sparked sharp reactions across the state and many groups burnt effigies of Dev on Sunday.
Last month, Dev had said he would quit the BJP on July 14, alleging neglect and groupism by the leaders, but later he made a U-turn and did not resign.
Dev has been in the news for making controversial statements, mostly targeting one particular community, leading to even registering an FIR at the Silchar police station in 2018 for allegedly making provocative statements to divide Assamese and Bengalis.