Pakistani who contested Assam elections arresed

August 2nd, 2008 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Guwahati, Aug 2 (IANS) Amid pressure from opposition parties and other groups, police Saturday arrested a controversial Pakistani national who contested elections to the Assam legislative assembly in 1996, officials said. A police spokesman said Mohammed Kamaruddin was arrested from his residence in Morajhar in Nagaon district, about 150 km east of Assam’s main city of Guwahati.

“Kamaruddin was arrested and has since been put on a train en route to Karimganj (in souther Assam) from where he would be pushed back to Bangladesh through a border point,” Nagaon district police chief Nitul Gogoi told IANS by telephone.

The issue rocked Assam after a judgement by the Gauhati High Court last week said Kamaruddin contested from the Jamunamukh assembly constituency in 1996.

“The petitioner (Kamaruddin) after successfully entering into Assam from Pakistan through Bangladesh, not only roamed around on Indian soil, but also contested the 1996 election from Jamunamukh,” Justice B.K. Sharma said in his 95-page judgment.

“The petitioner was in possession of a passport issued by the Pakistan government, on the strength of which he travelled to Dhaka from where he sneaked to Assam and even contested the election. This can happen only in Assam,” the court judgement read.

The court ruling was in response to 61 writ petitions filed by individuals challenging ‘Quit India’ notices served on them by state authorities.

After this sensational revelation, pressure groups like the influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and opposition parties like the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) charged Assam’s Congress-led government with patronizing illegal migrants.

Earlier Saturday, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi called a security meeting and ordered action against a police official who helped Kamaruddin get a citizenship certificate.

“We had pushed back Kamaruddin twice, once in 1998 and in 2000. But he managed to return and stayed with his wife and children at Morajhar,” the police official said.

Kamaruddin’s wife is an Indian and his children are by birth Indians as well and hence the family was not disturbed while the police arrested him and decided to push him back to Bangladesh.

The court judgement said illegal Bangladeshis in Assam had become the ‘kingmakers’, besides warning that if illegal infiltration was not checked, then the indigenous population would be reduced to a minority.

Justice Sharma also warned that Bangladeshis would soon “intrude upon the corridors of power” and suggested a “strong political will” to free Assam from illegal Bangladeshis.

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