Various NGOs, including those representing indigenous Assamese Muslims, have stepped up pressure on the BJP-led coalition government in Assam to take stern action against lawyers who assaulted a judge in Goalpara on February 15.
The lawyers, representing people of doubtful citizenship, manhandled Foreigners’ Tribunal judge Ajoy Kumar Phukan after arguing with him over a doubtful voter (D-voter) case in western Assam’s Goalpara, which is 150km west of Guwahati.
Phukan had on February 9 observed that eight of 13 D-voters the lawyers represented were foreigners. It angered the lawyers, and along with other law practitioners, they pounced on Phukan after a heated argument and ransacked his office.
The police arrested five of the lawyers – Mir Abdur Baten, Safiqur Islam, Anowar Hussain, Nazrul Islam and Nurjamal Islam – within 48 hours of a complaint Phukan registered at the Goalpara Sadar police station.
Police said two main accused – Omar Farooq and Shahjahan Ali – named in Phukan’s FIR are among the 15 others absconding.
“The district police have been told to apprehend all those involved in the attack,” Kuladhar Saikia, special director general of police (law and order) said.
On Wednesday, the Patriotic Peoples’ Front Assam (PPFA) asked the state government to take quick action against the unruly lawyers so that the dignity of the Indian judicial system is maintained.
“We would like to urge the Supreme Court, which constituted the Foreigners’ Tribunals for expediting identification and determination of illegal immigrants after taking serious note of this incident,” a PPFA spokesperson said.
Various other organisations such as All Assam Lawyers Association, All Assam Students’ Union, Guwahati Senior Citizens’ Association, Prabrajan Virodhi Mancha and All Assam Goria Moria Deshi Jatiya Parishad have condemned the attack on judge Phukan.
Goria, Moria and Deshi are categories of indigenous Muslims.