Assam Congress MLA Sherman Ali, who was suspended from the party after raising demands for a 'Miya Museum' in the state, has now demanded that the state government and Assamese civil society groups should recognize 'Miya' community who are residing in the state as an integral part of the Assamese society.
He estimated the 'Miya' population across the state to be around 10 million.
Bengali-speaking Muslims living in riverine islands and sandbars of Brahmaputra and its tributaries who migrated to Assam from present-day Bangladesh from time to time call themselves 'Miya'.
Miya Parishat recently inaugurated a private Miya Museum at the Dapkarbhita Lakhipur area in Assam's Goalpara district, which erupted in controversy and the indigenous Assamese community sees this as a threat to their identity.
The so-called museum showcased traditional agricultural tools, fishing tools, and lungi, among some other artefacts.
Reacting to it, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said nothing belongs to the Miya community except a 'Lungi' in the museum and said that the state government would probe the matter.
"I don't understand what this museum is. The material which has been placed there belongs to the Assamese people except for Lungi (a piece of cloth). They have placed on Nangol (a tool used to plough land), fishing equipment there, but our scheduled caste people have used these traditional types of equipment for decades and decades. What is new in there except 'Lungi'?" the CM said.
Meanwhile, the district administration has sealed the so-called museum citing that the museum was illegally inaugurated in a government-funded PMAY house. Three involved in connection with the museum have been arrested.
(With Inputs from ANI)