Assam: Foreigners Tribunal Member Apologizes for "Communal Request" to Not Use His Donation for Jamaat Attendees

Assam: Foreigners Tribunal Member Apologizes for "Communal Request" to Not Use His Donation for Jamaat Attendees

Tribunal Tribunal

Guwahati, April 12, 2020:

Foreigners' Tribunal Member from Baksa, Kamalesh Kumar Gupta, who had earlier donated his contribution to the Assam Arogya Nidhi for treatment of the COVID-19 patients, has apologized for making a communal request by asking the officials not to spend the money on the Tablighi Jamaat attendees.

In the note undersigned by the FT member earlier, which he sent of behalf of the members, attached members, and staffs of the foreigners tribunal of Assam, he had written, “Our only prayer is that the help may not be extended to the members of Violators Tablighi Jamaat, Jehadi and Jahil. Kindly accept our donations as above for saving the humanity from the clutches of COVID-19 pandemic.” Interestingly, Gupta himself had donated a sum of Rs 5,000.

In his clarification, the Tribunal member stated, "I never wanted to distub the social and communal harmony of the State and the country. During my dispensation of work, as per recent records available with me, 9 proceedees belonging to Hindu were declared Not Forigners and 23 proceedees belonging to Muslim were declared as Not Foreigners. So I have never done anything on communal basis."

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He further said, "I beg apology from the concerned effected persons and assure all of not doing anything from communal angle. I also beg pardon from my colleague Ld. Members, Attached Members and Staffs who felt embarrassed due to the above draft letter. I did not show to the Members any draft and did not take their consent."

It may be mentioned here that the earlier request of the Foreigners' Tribunal official to not extend aid to members of the Tablighi Jammat bore extra significance as 28 of the 29 COVID-19 positive patients have links to the Nizamuddin Markaz congregation. One of them, a 65-year-old from Hailakandi district, breathed his last in the wee hours of April 10.

Soon after this note was leaked to certain sections of the media, it caused a hue-and-cry for its openly discriminatory nature.

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Azizur Rahman, the chief of the minority student body AAMSU, had lashed out against at Gupta and demanded that he be punished. Talking to Inside Northeast earlier today, Rahman said, “Being a Government official, no one should have a mentality like this. At any cost, we condemn this incident wholeheartedly. This is a serious affront, we condemn it, and firmly believe that the Government should take action. He is a judicial officer, and sadly, one cannot expect justice from such a character. They should remove such people from their positions.

The student leader had further expressed that there is an attempt to “communalize” the coronavirus. “In the wake of the Markaz congregation, people are being looked at through the lens of religion. Perhaps even the Government is looking at patients as patients, but the person who wrote this letter to the Health Minister is seeing the persons as Hindu or Muslim and not as a person. Such people should be punished as per the existing norms of law for creating communal disharmony”, Rahman said.

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Notably, although many attending the Jammat, including several from the Northeast Indian states have been infected by preachers who had flown in from other countries, it has been seen that many in India have completely turned their backs against them. There has been an attempt to communalize the issue, many experts have opined.

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