Assam: Magisterial Inquiry Ordered Into Assault on MLA

Assam: Magisterial Inquiry Ordered Into Assault on MLA
A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the assault on Congress MLA Rumi Nath and her second husband at a Karimganj hotel which sparked off violent protests and bandh in south Assam's Barak Valley.

Karimganj Deputy Commissioner Debeswar Malakar today ordered the inquiry into the incident. The report of the inquiry is to be submitted within 15 days, official sources said.

In another development, three personnel security officers of the MLA were suspended due to dereliction of duty.

"The PSOs had failed to protect Nath and her second husband and had fled from the spot when the mob barged into the hotel where the duo were staying", the sources said.

Nath, who represents Borkhola constituency in Cachar, and her second husband were beaten up and injured on Friday night in a hotel here by a group of people who were angry over her second marriage without divorcing her first husband.

Violent protests by supporters and opponents of the controversial MLA have been going on in Barak Valley since the last three days.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC were imposed in Cachar, Karimjang and some parts of Hailakandi district to prevent untoward incident.

Five persons were arrested for the assault on the MLA.

Six minority organisations have today declared a 24-hour bandh at Badarpur in protest against the attack on the MLA. A 12-hour bandh has been called at Borkhola.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the RSS and the Hindu Jagran Manch have called for a day-long bandh in the entire Barak Valley on July 24.

Nath meanwhile told reporters, "It (the assault) was not the result of public anger over my second marriage to a Muslim. The attack was carried out at night by some lumpen elements with political instigation."

Two senior ministers of the Assam government hailing from Barak Valley -- Public Health and Engineering Minister Gautam Roy and Border Areas Development Minister Siddique Ahmed -- have in recent weeks made many controversial statements on Nath's second marriage.

Asked if she suspected either minister of being behind the attack, Nath replied "I cannot say. But I want to know who is the main brain behind it."

Asked if there was political pressure on the police not to act against the culprits, she said "There could be political pressure from many quarters."

She also expressed dissatisfaction with the police saying,"Even on the night of assault, if the police had reacted early and reached the spot quickly, the situation could have been salvaged."

Nath's husband Zakir, a clerk in the state health department, said "I am yet to understand why Rumi was targeted. If I am a Muslim, is it her fault?"
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