Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Saturday firmly asserted that Assam and Northeast are integral parts of India and cannot be separated from the country. His reaction came in response to the provoking remark made by Sharjeel Imam, the chief co-ordinator of Shaheen Bagh protest, who mentioned that Assam will be separated from India.
"Assam and Northeast are an integral part of India. Government of India has tried to make North-east strong. If anyone tries to separate North-east from India then we will not spare them. Government is trying to do maximum development there. There are Muslims, tribals, Hindus, Dalits and Buddhists living there and we respect them. Terming the North-East a Muslim area is not right," said Athawale.
Assam Police on Saturday registered an FIR against Imam for his alleged statement. A series of videos have gone viral on social media in which Imam is heard saying: "If we all come together, then we can separate the Northeast from India. If we cannot do it for permanently, then at least for 1-2 months we can do this. It will take the administration at least one month to disperse all of them." "It is our responsibility to cut Assam from India. When this will happen, only then the Centre will listen to us," said Imam.
Sharjeel Imam was also instructing Muslims in Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh on Friday to cut off Assam from India by blocking the railways, roads. Claiming the detention of Assamese Muslims in the state's camps due to exclusion from NRC, Imam is seen instigating Muslims to 'use their anger productively'. Stating that this is the only way to make the Centre listen to them, he advised Muslims to do 'chakka jaam' to help Assam out of its turmoil.
Backing the CAA, Athawale said that CAA is not taking away anyone's citizenship and the protests should stop now. "Shaheen Bagh is witnessing peaceful protest and that is good. But the truth is that CAA is not taking anyone's citizenship. Muslims will not suffer from it. If Muslims suffer than I will also stand with them".
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday, also condemned Sharjeel Imam's 'Assam cutoff' call and said that India was country, not a chicken's neck that it can be broken. Dismissing such inflammatory talks, Owaisi said that such nonsensical talks will not be tolerated.
(With inputs from ANI)