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The Assam Police have registered a case against senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge over his remark on legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika who was conferred with Bharat Ratna this year, officials said on Sunday. Kharge had slammed the Narendra Modi government for conferring the award to a ‘singer’ instead of spiritual leader Shivakumara Swami.

The case was filed based on a complaint by RTI activist Raju Mahanta who accused Kharge of hurting the sentiments of the Assamese people. “A case has been filed against Mallikarjun Kharge at Morigaon Police Station,” Swapnanil Deka, Superintendent of Police of Morigaon district, told news agency PTI.

Mahanta, who is also the president of ‘Sahai’ — a socio-cultural organisation of central Assam, said he had filed the case as the remark passed by Kharge was objectionable and demanded an apology from the Congress leader.

Shivakumar Swami, 111, popularly known as “walking God’’, had been battling age-related complications for a long time. The Lingayat pontiff was undergoing treatment for a lung infection and was on ventilator support. He passed away on January 21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders had expressed their condolences over the loss.

Besides Hazarika, Kharge had also criticised the Centre for conferring the award to a man who propagated their RSS ideology, in an indirect reference to Nanaji Deshmukh.
On Friday, the Centre had also named former President Pranab Mukherjee for the Bharat Ratna award.

[Indian Express]