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Kapil Sibal Under Fire From Assam Over Myanmar Remark

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GUWAHATI, Dec 9: Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has hit back at lawyer Kapil Sibal for saying the state was once a part of Myanmar.

Leader of the opposition in Assam assembly, Debabrata Saikia, wrote to Sibal asking him to withdraw the statement.

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Sibal, while appearing before the Supreme Court earlier this week during a hearing on the citizenship issue, said Assam was a part of Myanmar and it was handed over to the British in 1824 after the latter conquered part of the territory.

Reacting to the statement, Sarma had on Friday said Assam was never a part of Myanmar, except a brief period of occupation.

“Assam was never part of Myanmar. It is true that people from there (Myanmar) had clashed with our people during Ahom rule. And for a brief period of around one-two months, we were under an occupation-like situation in Myanmar,” the chief minister said.

“Those who do not have any knowledge about history, they should refrain from commenting,” Sarma said.

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Saikia, in a letter to Sibal on Saturday, claimed that this “incorrect representation of Assam history is very unfortunate and it has hurt the pride and prestige of Assam.”

“It seems the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and AAMSU might have provided you with incorrect information about Assam history and your team has failed to cross check the data before presentation,” he said.

The Congress leader said the history of Assam is that of a confluence of the Austroasiatic, Tibeto-Burman (Sino-Tibetan), Tai and Indo-Aryan cultures.

Assam was ruled by the Ahom for six centuries and though invaded over time, it was never a vassal or a colony to an external power until the third Burmese invasion in 1821, and subsequently the British ingress into Assam in 1824 during the First Anglo-Burmese War, he said.

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Saikia has urged Sibal to “withdraw the statement and render a public apology before the public of Assam for mis-representation of Assam’s glorious history”. (PTI)

 

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