Assam (Silchar): Several people, including BJP members, have lodged FIRs in several police stations in south Assam’s Karimganj district against a government official for allegedly making a “defamatory” statement against BJP MLA Bijoy Malakar on social media recently.

Government official Sanjay Kumar Ahir, who hails from Bidyanagar village in Karimganj district and works at the forest department in Karimganj district, on June 24 commented on a post on Facebook page ‘Bijoy Malakar Somorthok’ about the efforts being made by the MLA to help the flood-affected people of Ratabari assembly constituency. The post read: “Don’t compare an IAS officer with an illiterate and uneducated person.”

A rough translation of Ahir’s comment in the screengrab above reads, “Why is there a comparison between an IAS officer and an uneducated person?” The other comment says: “Very good, hardworking MLA, but don’t compare with an IAS officer. He may be an MLA, but don’t compare an IAS officer with uneducated persons.”

The remark evoked widespread outrage and reaction from various corners, including BJP members and leaders, with netizens venting their ire and seeking stern action against Ahir for his ‘defamatory’ comments.

Many, including BJP members and leaders, lodged FIRs in several police stations and police outposts across the Ratabari constituency against Ahir.

President of Bharatiya Yuva Morcha Sourav Das, who was one of the persons to lodge an FIR, told EastMojo that Ahir’s statement on social media on June 24 tarnished the reputation and dignity of MLA Bijoy Malakar and that he should be punished sternly for the act. Nearly two thousand FIRs have been lodged across the district against Ahir, Das claimed.

Meanwhile, a large group of people, including saffron brigade workers, took out a rally in Ratabari on Sunday in protest against the alleged incident. After the rally, the protesters reached Ratabari police station and staged a demonstration.

“MLA Bijoy Malakar is the best legislator of Ratabari constituency till date, and he has been working relentlessly to help the common masses who have been affected because of floods. Such a remark against the MLA by a public servant is totally unacceptable,” they claimed.

A protester said the incident may result in turmoil across the district if Ahir is not arrested soon. Another protester said the statement by the government official against Malakar has hurt the general public of Ratabari and he should be arrested at the earliest.

Talking to EastMojo on Monday, MLA Bijoy Malakar said, “Many such obnoxious comments have been made against me and the party (BJP) in the past as well. Party karyakartas (party workers) have lodged FIRs against the government official. I want action against him as per the law.”

People stage the protest demonstration in front of Ratabari police station in Karimganj district on Sunday

Reacting to Ahir’s close terms with MP Kripanath Mallah, as claimed by political pundits in Karimganj district, he said, “Maybe he has good terms with MP Kripanath Mallah. He is often seen with him,” he said.

On being asked what could be the motive of a government official behind making a comment against him, the MLA said, “Don’t really know why he wrote like that. He made the comment after around 11 pm at night. Maybe he was drunk.”

A section of political observers suspected the act by Ahir, who is known to be close to MP Kripanath Mallah, was “politically planned” to create a negative image of Malakar among the general public. Mallah could not be reached for his comments.

Sources in police said the areas where FIRs have been lodged against Ahir are Ratabari, Ramakrishnanagar, Nivia, Cheragi, Son Beel, Kalibari Bazar, Dullabcherra and Bhairabnagar among others.

Though Ahir could not be reached for a comment, a public post on this otherwise restricted profile on Facebook read like an apology, in Assamese.

“I’m so sorry if my recent social media comments have hurt and offended people… I didn’t mean to defame anyone, my comments have been misunderstood and misrepresented… I have a lot of respect for the honorable MLA of Ratabari and it will always be.”

EastMojo tried contacting Karimganj MP Kripanath Mallah over the phone, but he did not respond to calls.

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