National

TMC's Ripun Bora Slams Assam Govt For Opposing Miya Museum In A Bid To Divert People's Attention

The TMC leader's comments came as he was reacting to the sealing of the controversial 'Miya Museum' in Goalpara district on Tuesday and the subsequent arrest of three persons associated with it under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

TMC leader Ripun Bora
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Asserting that there was no harm in setting up a 'Miya museum’ by the Bengal-origin Muslims in Assam, Trinamool Congress leader Ripun Bora on Friday claimed that the government has opposed it to divert attention from the burning issues of the state.

The museum has not harmed anybody, Bora told reporters at the sidelines of a programme here.

What did the TMC leader say?

The TMC leader's comments came as was reacting to the sealing of the controversial 'Miya Museum', set up in a house allotted under Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY) in Goalpara district, on Tuesday and the subsequent arrest of three persons associated with it under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

''If the government does not want to set up the museum, they need not do it but people have the right to form any cultural organisation. Many organisations have been set up with public donations and the Miyas can also set up a museum to display objects associated with their community and culture,'' Bora said.

He asserted that setting up a museum is not a crime as it has not harmed anybody.

''The government has taken such an unnecessary action to divert the attention of the public from the various burning issues facing the state,'' Bora claimed.

The word 'Miya' in Assam refers to Bengali-speaking migrants, some of whose roots can be traced to Bangladesh.

How did Congress react?

Former Congress MLA Sherman Ali Ahmed, who had first proposed the setting up of a 'Miya' museum in 2020, told reporters that he was not concerned about the museum but ''was concerned about the recognition of the Miya people who with their hard work in adverse conditions have contributed immensely to the state, particularly in the agriculture sector''.

Congress MLA Wajed Ali Choudhury said that an assembly standing committee had decided to set up a 'Char Chapori' (riverine areas) museum and not a 'Miya' museum as there is no community of that name and the word is merely a form of honorific address.

What is the controversy all about?

Muslims in Assam continue to bear the brunt of being ‘outsiders’. In the latest move the government has sealed a ‘Miya’ museum set up in a house allotted through Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) at Goalpara and took the owner into its custody.  

The museum was set up by the president of the Mia Assam Miya Parishad, Mohor Ali at his house in Dapkabhita under Lakhiur police station. The notice mentions that it was done following the instruction of the Deputy Commissioner.  

Following the inauguration of the museum on October 23, senior BJP leaders demanded its immediate closure, and the party’s Minority Morcha member Abdur Rahim Gibran filed a complaint with the police against setting up of it in a PMAY-allotted house

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said on Tuesday that such activities by some members of the 'Miya' community posed a threat to "Assamese identity". 

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