Assam minister ‘threatened’ journalist with ‘dire consequences’, complains Congress

In an audio clip that was shared widely on social media, the voice of a person purported to be Hazarika is heard apparently intimidating Nazrul Islam, a journalist with Pratidin Times channel, for airing a report related to his wife, Aimee Baruah.

The Congress on Thursday filed a memorandum to the poll panel against Assam minister Pijush Hazarika for allegedly threatening a local TV channel journalist.

The Congress alleged that the BJP leader’s words were in violation of the model code of conduct. In a memorandum issued to state Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade, they accused Hazarika of using “unparliamentary words” to threaten the journalist with “dire consequences.”

Hazarika is trying to retain Jagiroad seat, which went to polls on Thursday.

In an audio clip that was shared widely on social media, the voice of a person purported to be Hazarika is heard apparently intimidating Nazrul Islam, a journalist with Pratidin Times channel, for airing a report related to his wife, Aimee Baruah. Hazarika allegedly told the journalist not to mess with him and that he would “destroy him”.

The report concerned relates to a campaign rally by Baruah, who is also a popular actor in the state, in Jagiroad. In it, she is heard allegedly saying that those who do not accept the Citizenship (Amendment) Act will be chased out of not just Assam, but the country.

Baruah later told a local channel that the statement was misrepresented and apologised if she had hurt any sentiments unintentionally.

The Congress’s letter — signed by MP and state Congress president Ripun Bora – stated that Hazarika “warned Nazrul Islam allegedly for doing ‘Miya Politics’ to support Congress and ‘Aajmal Party’ i.e. AIUDF and threatened him that he will spoil Nazrul Islam’s life”.

This “aggravated the existing differences” and “created mutual hatred” between communities of the state and is a violation of the model code of conduct, the opposition party wrote.

The Gauhati Press Club also issued s statement saying that it is “unbecoming of a public representative to threaten a journalist of dire consequences, no matter what.”

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