The controversy was raised in Assam after the CM Himanta Biswa Sarma commented on Ismail Siddique, also known as Bagh Hazarika. CM Sarma called him a “fictional character,” which hurt the sentiments of several Assamese Muslim scholars.
Ismail Siddique, aka Bagh Hazarika, was an Ahom army warrior of the 17th century. He was a part of Lachit Barphukan’s team in the popular fight of Saraighat against the Mughals. It is said that Ismail Siddique was the second in command to Ahom General.
When the chief minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, gave his speech in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in Guwahati, he lighted a fire of controversy by addressing Ismail Siddique as a fictional character. According to CM Sarma, there was no proper or definite information about Ismail Siddique in the history books. He further added that the teachers didn’t question anything about his involvement in the battle in a narrative created about Ismail.
The controversial statement was certainly not liked by several Assam Muslim scholars and criticized CM Sarma’s idea of history. They commented on CM’s comment where he said that Lachit Borphukan went to the temple to offer prayers, etc. the TAYP president slammed the CM and said, “Ahoms are allowed to go anywhere. They eat all types of food. There is no restriction in Ahom tradition and beliefs. The Ahoms worship nature and their ancestors.”