On the death of Lafiqul Islam Ahmed

In a conflict-ridden region like BTAD, Lafiqul Islam Ahmed’s activism touched so many hearts. Ahmed was shot dead by unidentified assailants on August 1. But his death has brought together people from various communities. The show of solidarity, and the peaceful protest following his assassination is indeed noteworthy.

For the Bengal-origin Muslim community in Assam that is still struggling with socio-economic issues, such as river erosion induced displacement and widescale poverty, Ahmed’s death is a significant loss. Ahmed was a progressive youth leader who raised several concerns within the Bengal-origin Muslim community such as child marriage, polygamy, dowry and domestic violence. He also highlighted the need for girls’ education, and even created a women’s wing of the All BTC Minority Students Union (ABMSU), where he served as its President till his death.

Ahmed’s murder leaves a big void in minority leadership in Assam, and void in the effort of all those, who, cutting across markers of identities, were working for peace and amity in the region. It will certainly take the minority community some time to heal from this tragedy. Meanwhile, we appreciate the Assam government’s swift action in the matter. We also understand that monetary compensation alone is not sufficient.

We request the Honourable Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal to consider providing long-term support to Ahmed’s family. The government could do this by securing Ahmed’s younger brother with a permanent employment opportunity. This would go a long way not only in showing political goodwill, but also in establishing a sense of social justice.

The Chief Minister’s move to write to the centre for a CBI probe while constituting a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the matter is indeed appreciable. We would urge him to follow up with the centre so that the CBI can take over the case as soon as possible.

In the last couple of days, Ahmed’s parents and siblings have been through the worst tragedy of their lives. It is our sincere plea to the media to respect their sense of privacy, and to avoid any kind of misreporting that might negatively affect the family.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

  1. Indrani Raimedhi, Features Editor, The Assam Tribune
  2. Monirul Hussain, Former HOD, Department of Political Science, Gauhati University
  3. Miguel Das Queah, Child Rights Activist
  4. Kenny Basumatary, Actor and Filmmaker
  5. Kishalay Bhattacharjee, Journalist and Author, Associate Professor of Journalism at OP Jindal University
  6. Kaustubh Deka, Assistant Professor, Centre for Northeast Studies and Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia
  7. Patricia Mukhim, Editor, The Shillong Times
  8. Nasreen Habib, Editor, Eclectic Northeast
  9. Anuraag Baruah, Editor, Time8
  10. Bedabrat Bora, Managing Editor, Assam Talks
  11. Mahbabul Haque, Founder and VC, USTM
  12. Haidar Hussain, Ex-Editor, Axomiya Pratidin
  13. Utpal Borpujari, Film Critic
  14. Raju Narzary, Director, NERSWN
  15. Brojo Basumatary, Project Officer, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment
  16. Nitoo Das, Poet and HOD, Department of English, IP College, University of Delhi
  17. Uddipana Goswami, Writer
  18. Dhurjjati Sarma, Assistant Professor, Department of Modern Indian Languages, Gauhati University
  19. Bidhayak Das, Senior Journalist
  20. Mrinal Talukdar, Senior Journalist
  21. Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, Deputy Editor, The Wire
  22. Jarjum Ete, Social Activist, Arunachal Pradesh
  23. Dilip Borah, HOD, Department of Modern Indian Languages, Gauhati University
  24. Anuradha Sarma, Assistant Professor, Department of Modern Indian Languages, Gauhati University
  25. Sarim Rahman Razdan, Assistant Professor, TISS Guwahti
  26. Kishor Kumar Kalita, Author and Lawyer, Guwahati
  27. Binita Hazarika, Legal Fellow, South Asia Women’s Fund
  28. Rahul Devnath, Film Maker, Goalpara
  29. Mustafa Ahmed Barbhuiya, Post-Doctoral Fellow at John Hopkins University, USA
  30. Kansai Brahma, Justice Fellow, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
  31. Reema Borah, Film Maker
  32. Sanskrita Bharadwaj, Journalist
  33. Hafiz Ahmed, President Char Chapori Sahitya Parishad
  34. Aparajita Sarma, Guwahati
  35. Mukut Lochan Kalita, Convenor, RTE Forum Assam
  36. Prafallla Nath, Assistant Professor, Assam University
  37. Rafiul Ahmed, Assistant Professor, University of Sikkim
  38. Maharishi Sharma, Corporate Lawyer, Thompson Reuters
  39. Navanil Barua, Director, Neurosurgery, GNRC Dispur
  40. Shalini Sarma, Chairperson, Centre for Ecology, Environment and Sustainable Development, TISS Guwahati
  41. Jeetumoni Basumatary, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Cotton University
  42. Krantik, Musician
  43. Dwijendra Narayan Sarma, Founder Prerona Library, Nalbari
  44. Rajiv Sutradhar, OKD

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