‘12 mn illegal Bangladeshis could get listed in census’

April 9th, 2010 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Guwahati, April 9 (IANS) A minority group in Assam Friday claimed that names of an estimated 12 million illegal Bangladeshi migrants would get enlisted in the ongoing census in the state.
“We have enough evidence to fear that some 12 million Bangladeshis would be able to get their names enlisted in census exercise and if that happens, the future of the indigenous Muslims in Assam would be under a great threat,” M.G. Hazarika, president of the Assam Miya Parishad, told journalists.

Along with the rest of the country, the massive exercise of counting and profiling India’s 1.2 billion people began in Assam last week.

“The government needs to take steps to ensure that Bangladeshis are not able to get their details enlisted in the census,” Hazarika said.

The issue of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh is a major issue in Assam with allegations that unabated influx of migrants was a threat to the state’s demographic profile.

The Parishad also blamed political parties, especially the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of trying to use the Bangladeshi infiltration issue for political mileage.

“The BJP and the AGP often shout about the infiltration issue without really having the right intention to solve the problem. We are worried as continuing influx would threaten genuine minorities in Assam in the long run,” Hazarika said.

In the absence of a formal deportation agreement between India and Bangladesh, a person identified by the Foreigners Tribunal as an illegal Bangladeshi is taken to the border by police and pushed back by Bangladesh border guards at night under the cover of darkness.

In most cases, the migrant later resurfaces in Assam by sneaking back to the Indian border through a different entry point.

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