How the State Helps Aliens
Over the years, people in Assam have never ceased to wonder at how illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh mage to secure documents certifying them as permanent residents and get their voting rights almost immediately on arrival in the State. It has been the experience of most Assamese people to be told that the government had stopped issuing Permanent Resident certificates whenever such certificates were sought for admissions to medical or engineering colleges. But subsequent reports have indicated that several of the offices of deputy commissioners of different districts had stacks of such certificate forms in their offices. However, what the one-man commission of Upamanyu Hazarika appointed by the Supreme Court to report on different aspects of illegal immigration from Bangladesh has done is to submit his fourth supplementary report to the apex court stating that there was an established and institutiolized mechanism that ebled Bangladeshi tiols to freely come into the country, acquire citizenship and voting rights and that a large-scale racket of fake certificates was involved in the entire operation. In his fourth supplementary report to the Supreme Court, Hazarika has said that the racket “is carried out with the aid and connivance of government personnel” and that no offender is brought to book. The supplementary report says, inter alia: “There is one significant fact which emerges from the fact-finding undertaken since May 2015 and resulting in the four reports, including the present one, and which is that there is an established institutiolized mechanism which ebles a Bangladeshi tiol to freely come into the country, acquire citizenship rights and more importantly voting rights, which is where their strengths lie... The fact that it is a porous border (admitted by both the governments), no verification of any person being enrolled as a voter, no verification of any person getting rights over land rather settling as an encroacher upon government land, forest land and grazing reserves and subsequently conferred land rights with procurement of fake certification being the norm.” It will be recalled that the Gauhati High Court had noted in a judgement that even when such fake certification is detected with great difficulty, no offender who participated in the process is brought to book. This observation had come as part of a judgement wherein a foreign tiol was identified as such and deported to Bangladesh in 2007. The same foreign tiol filed a writ petition before the Gauhati High Court. This writ petition has been pending for six years because the State government has not yet filed the required affidavit. Among other things, the ability of a deported alien to file a writ petition against the order also demonstrates the confidence that Bangladeshi tiols, illegally migrating into Assam, have that the prevailing system will protect their interests. Hazarika regards the necessity of an independent inquiry and investigation into the manner in which foreigners illegally acquire citizenship as being very important in the context of a Government of Assam order which categorically states that “the manner in which foreigners illegally acquire citizenship is a matter under the Union Government India.” The Government of India has a responsibility of investigating how such a misleading statement about the acquisition of Indian citizenship by Bangladeshi tiols has gone uncontested for so long, especially in the context of the updating process of the NRC, 1951 that is going on now. It is only tural that the elements in the government machinery that have been indulging in the antitiol and seditious activity of swiftly turning illegal migrants into Indian tiols will also go out of their way to sabotage the updating of the NRC, since a correctly updated version of the NRC, 1951 will result in the undoing of much of the mischief that they have so meticulously done over the years to destroy the integrity of their own country. And that is why the Supreme Court must also direct that the Assembly elections of 2016 in Assam can be held only after a correct and reliable updating of the NRC has been completed.