Assam has become the stomping ground of illegal Bangladeshi migrants with successive Congress governments in the State going to the extent of bending or tweaking the law to safeguard the party’s vote-bank. The brazenness and impunity with which Bangladeshi migrants are grabbing land, getting their mes into voters lists with all sorts of bogus papers, and tightening control over the administration — has been institutiolised in the 14 years of Tarun Gogoi’s regime. The latest outrage at Morigaon merely goes to prove how deeply this government has allowed its law enforcement machinery to be compromised with, when it comes to detection and detention of Bangladeshi migrants declared ‘foreigners’ by Foreigner Tribuls set up under the law. One such Rustam Ali, had been declared a foreigner in February last year by the tribul at Morigaon. When a posse of policemen went to apprehend Ali and four other family members last Monday on orders of the Morigaon SP, Ali promptly went into hiding. As the police team apprehended his family members and put them inside the van, it was attacked by a crowd led by Morigaon Congress secretary Habibur Rahman Siddique. The police officials were thrashed black and blue while the apprehended Bangladeshis were ‘rescued’ by the Congress goons. Known to be particularly close to Health minister and Lahorighat MLA jrul Islam and some other Congress ministers, Siddique is now absconding.
After the issue of government officers on public duty being beaten up rocked the Assembly, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi piously commented that ‘no one will be allowed to take the law into their own hands’. The Health minister too said that ‘the law will take its own course’. But has not the Congress government of the State subverted the law systematically to literally bring about a Bangladeshi ‘Ram rajya’ over the years? An atmosphere has been encouraged in which the legitimacy of rulings by Foreigner Tribuls and even the courts are openly questioned in the Assembly. According to a section of legislators, notably of the Congress and the AIUDF, most ‘D’ voters are victims of State discrimition! There are loud protests at the ‘difficulties of genuine Indian citizens’ in finding the legacy data of their forefathers in the NRC update process, accompanied by persistent demands that the 2014 electoral rolls should form the basis of NRC update. Had it not been for the Supreme Court, the NRC update exercise would never have got off in the first place, delayed as it has been since 2007. Congress governments at the Centre too have played their part in changing the law for the benefit of Bangladeshi migrants, notably the egregious IMDT law which made detection and deportation of foreigners in Assam all but impossible, and the changes in the Citizenship law which granted citizenship to all persons born in India from 1950 to 1987, irrespective of the tiolity of their parents. Any attempt to grant constitutiol safeguards to indigenous people under the Assam Accord is sought to be scuttled in the Assembly itself. It is no wonder therefore that outrages like the Morigaon incident keep occurring with regular frequency.