‘Oust Bangladeshi’ stir gains momentum in Assam

August 4th, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party
By Syed Zarir Hussain
Guwahati, Aug 4 (IANS) Authorities in India’s northeastern state of Assam are all set to “push back” an alleged Bangladeshi national to that country Monday even as various parties and groups have upped their ante on the sensitive issue of migration in the state. Mohammed Kamaruddin, who resided in the central Assam district of Nagaon and had contested the elections to the state assembly in 1996, has been taken to the Bangladesh border and is expected to be deported back to that country later Monday.

“Kamaruddin is now in the border town of Mahisasan in the southern Karimganj district and is all set for expulsion,” an Assam Police official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The police arrested him in the wake of a Gauhati High Court observation that Kamaruddin was a Pakistani passport holder and had sneaked into Bangladesh before entering Assam and even contested the 1996 state elections.

The court judgment also said the state government has not done enough to stop migration and detect illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

Various groups including the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), the main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have threatened agitation if the government failed to stop influx from across the border and take steps to detect and oust illegal Bangladeshi migrants.

“Illegal migrants from Bangladesh are a real threat to Assam and the country. We appeal to the people of Assam not to engage Bangladeshis in any commercial or domestic work whatsoever,” AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya told IANS.

The AASU had led a six-year-long agitation against illegal Bangladeshi migrants between 1979 and 1985. The uprising ended with the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985 that fixed March 25, 1971 as the cut-off date for detection and expulsion of the illegal aliens.

The AGP and the BJP too have threatened stir on the issue.

With the oust-Bangladeshi campaign gaining momentum once again, the ruling Congress party in Assam too has been forced to talk tough.

“The Congress party is against any illegal migrant from any country, including Bangladesh, living here and threatening the demography of the state. But, we have to go by laid down rules and provisions and act accordingly,” party spokesman Haren Das said.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi too was quick to order a departmental probe to find out how the authorities certified Kamaruddin to be an Indian national, enabling him to contest the state elections in 1996.

The Assam government has meanwhile decided to open detention camps to house suspected illegal migrants before the process of law can verify their antecedents and declare their nationality.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Politics |