The district administration in the Goalpara district of Assam on Tuesday sealed the newly-inaugurated ‘Miya Museum’ after it sparked a political bout in the state.
This comes after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma questioned the source of fund behind the construction of the museum.
Moreover, the President of Assam Miya Parishad, M Mohar Ali was arrested by Goalpara Police in a major turn of events. Ali has been alleged to have set up the Miya Museum.
He has been taken in for questioning in connection with the matter, officials informed.
Earlier in the day, CM Sarma had mentioned that the police will investigate the source of funds behind the construction of the disputed museum.
Amid controversy, the Miya Museum had been inaugurated at Lakhipur in Dapkarvita in Assam’s Goalpara on Sunday.
The Assam CM said that a probe into the incident will be conducted in the coming days and those behind setting up the museum will be questioned.
He said that the management behind the museum will have to explain the reason behind displaying of several items that actually belong to Assamese culture at the museum.
Legal action will be taken against them if they fail to provide satisfactory reason behind the same, CM Sarma added.
He said, “All the items that are on display at the Miya museum are being used by the Assamese people. The plough items used for catching fish, all belong to the Assamese community.”
The Assam CM mentioned that only the lungi, a men’s garment worn below the waist, is an item that belonged to the Miya community.
“What’s new in it? Tools and equipment kept there belong to Assamese people except for ‘Lungi’. They must prove to government that ‘Nangol’ is used only by Miya people and not others, otherwise a case will be registered,” added CM Sarma.
He further said, “The intellectuals of the state must think about it. They called me communal when I raised my voice against Miya poetry. Now Miya poetry, Miya school and even a Miya Museum is here.”
Meanwhile, Assam cabinet minister Pijush Hazarika also spoke on the controversy. Addressing reporters, he echoed the Assam CM in saying that most items that were on display at the museum, actually belonged to Assamese culture.
He said, “Not only as a minister, but as an Assamese, I strongly oppose it. Under the Chief Minister’s orders, the district administration has sealed the Miya Musuem.”
Hazarika also said, “The ‘Nangol’, ‘Juwoli’, ‘Moi’, these are items belonging to the Assamese culture. A section of the Miya people have stolen these items from Assamese culture. We do not have a problem with displaying the ‘Lungi’ there, but we will not let them steal items belonging to Assamese culture.”
“We do not oppose the setting up of a Miya Museum, but they should put up items belonging to their culture and identity in that museum. Then we will not have anything to say on it,” added the state minister.
The cabinet minister for water resources in Assam, Hazarika went on to point the finger at Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). He said, “This is a conspiracy fuelled by the Congress and AIUDF.”
Addressing the issue of Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha, he appealed to the them saying, “If the Shankar Sangha has done anything to divide society, I urge them not to do so.”
“There are no people at the opening ceremony of the Congress theme song except drivers and security guards. Bharat Jodo Yatra has been a complete flop,” he said in an apparent dig at the grand old party.