Coronavirus update- Assam MLA held for spreading false Covid-19 info: Police
An opposition legislator in Assam has been arrested for allegedly making provocative, communal and false statements on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and the treatment of patients, the police said on Tuesday.
Aminul Islam, the Dhing MLA from the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), has been booked under relevant Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections and arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy and spreading disaffection among communities, among others, Assam director general of police (DGP) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said.
In audio clips that have surfaced on the social media, Islam purportedly said there was a conspiracy to target Muslims on the pretext of Covid-19 and those sent to quarantine could be killed. HT could not independently verify the authenticity of the clips.
The police picked up Islam from his residence in Dhing in Nagaon district on Monday night and arrested him on Tuesday morning after interrogation.
“He will be produced in court later on Tuesday…We have seized his personal digital accessories (PDAs) and processing them as per law. We have found several clippings in his mobile, which we will have to test digitally,” DGP Mahanta said.
In the past few days, Islam allegedly posted several posts on social media platforms questioning the government’s handling of Covid-19 patients and those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month.
At present, there are at least 26 Covid-19 cases in Assam and 25 of them are linked to the Jamaat event at the Islamic missionary group’s six-storey Nizamuddin building that has emerged as one of the single-largest source of the deadly infection in India.
According to the Union health ministry, of the total 4,067 cases in India as of Monday evening, 1,445 (or about 35%) are linked to the congregation. According to the home ministry, at least 25,500 Jamaat members and people who came in contact with them have been quarantined across India.
In one of the audio clips, Islam allegedly said a plan was underway to spread hatred (against people associated with the Jamaat). He purportedly said the condition of quarantine centres was worse than that of detention centres, which are used to incarcerate foreigners illegally staying in the state.