BJP suspends Assam minority leader Benezir Arfan, for endorsing Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees

BJP suspends Assam minority leader Benezir Arfan, for endorsing Myanmar's Rohingya refugees

GUWAHATI,Sept18: The Assam unit of the BJP has suspended a minority woman leader of its executive committee for voicing support for Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees. A few days back, Benezir Arfan had uploaded a post on Facebook requesting people to attend a fast in protest against the treatment meted out to Rohingyas by the Myanmar government.

Ms Arfan was the party’s face in its anti-triple talaq campaign in the state; she herself is a triple talaq victim.

On Thursday, BJP’s state unit general secretary Dilip Saikia sent a letter to Ms Arfan suspending her from the party with immediate effect and giving her three days time to explain why disciplinary action should not be initiated against her.

“As an individual, I don’t support this kind of attack and thus shared on social media, but my party chief here Ranjeet Das took offence to it. The party did not even ask me to explain my position and suspended me without a show-cause notice” Ms Arfan told NDTV.

She did write back an apology letter but to no avail.

In a Facebook post, Benezir Arfan had urged people to join a protest against the atrocities on Rohingyas. The protest rally was organised by the United Minority Peoples Forum, a Guwahati-based NGO, on September 16.

She joined the BJP in 2012 and contested the 2016 Assam assembly elections on the party’s ticket.

Nearly 3 lakh minority Rohingya Muslims have fled the violence-hit Rakhine state where the Myanmar’s army has allegedly launched a crackdown following a raid by militants on August 25. According to estimates, around 40,000 Rohingyas are living in India. The government has already declared Rohingya Muslims as illegal and ordered their deportation.