Assam MLA assaulted for converting to Islam

Posted in June 2012

Guwahati, June 30: The people of Barak Valley in Assam relieved off themselves from the long accumulated anger by beating up their woman MLA who got eloped two months ago with another man leaving behind her husband and a two year old daughter.
On learning that Congress legislator Rumi Nath and her second husband Jackie Zakir were in a hotel in southern Assam's Karimganj town on Friday night, around 700 people barged into the hotel and thrashed them. The MLA is already pregnant now with her second husband. She had eloped with Jackie Zakir without divorcing her first husband.
The police in Karimganj said the attack was unexpected, though the trigger was believed to be the fiery speeches of senior Assam minister Gautam Roy who was caught on camera urging people to oppose inter-religion marriages.
“We have identified the leaders who mobilized the people. They are absconding but will be caught soon,” said superintendent of police Pradip Pujari. He added that the mob had first shouted slogans and pelted stones at the hotel after Nath and Zakir checked in.
“We could have averted the incident if we had prior information about their visiting the town,” Pujari said.
Nath and Zakir had locked themselves up in the bathroom of their hotel room, but the mob barged in, slapped and kicked them. Police arrived on the scene an hour later and rushed the profusely bleeding duo to a local hospital. Around 1:40 am, the duo was put on an ambulance and brought to Guwahati with CRPF escort.
Locals said many in Barak Valley – it comprised three districts including Karimganj – had been incensed ever since Nath (33), ‘hurt religious sentiments’ by marrying Zakir, a social welfare department employee three years younger.
The controversial Nath, representing Borkhola assembly constituency, had rubbed many the wrong way after admitting this May to having married Zakir without divorcing first husband Rakesh Singh. She has a two-year-old daughter from Singh.
Rumi Nath had earlier raised a storm by defecting to the Congress before the 2011 elections. She was elected to the assembly for the first time in 2006 on a BJP ticket.

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