Over the years, we have had the most dismal statistics about the number of illegal migrants from Bangladesh in Assam actually declared as foreigners by the foreigners tribuls. The number of such illegal migrants who have actually been pushed back or deported to Bangladesh has been even more depressing. What was worse was that most of the aliens so deported maged to come back to Assam due to our very porous border with Bangladesh. Over the decades, the pace of identification of foreign tiols by the foreigners tribuls has been slower even then the proverbial sil’s pace. Of late, however, there has been some encouraging progress in the number of cases disposed of by the foreigners tribuls. In fact, compared to the earlier number of cases disposed of by foreigners tribuls, there seems to have been a quantum jump in the number disposed of in July this year.
What is perhaps very significant in the light of the earlier performance of several years is that the foreigners tribuls declared as many as 2,030 individuals as foreigners in the month of July 2017 alone. Of these, 1,904 were declared as foreigners who migrated to Assam after 25 March 1971, while the remaining 126 were declared as foreigners who had migrated between 1 January 1966 and 24 March 1971. Such migrants were not to be deported but only to be disfranchised for a period of ten years, after which they were to be treated as normal citizens, according to the provisions of the Assam Accord. Significantly, the number of cases of foreigners migrating to Assam jumped to 3,448 in July 2017. According to government sources, this figure was the highest for any given month since the inception of the foreigners tribuls. The total number of pending cases since the inception of the foreigners tribuls (as on 31 July 2017) stands at 1,91,841. However, according to certain other sources, this figure is 1,87,985. The difference is just 3,856—not a very significant one. However, what is significant is that there should be any difference at all in figures that are claimed and quoted by the government. Likewise, there is also a difference between the figures of those claimed to be foreigners by the tribuls. According to one source, the number of foreigners who were claimed by the tribuls to have entered Assam since 1985 is 86,489. According to another source, the number of people declared as foreigners (those who entered Assam after 25 March 1971) is only 47,889 even though the date of reckoning is earlier. It is the responsibility of the government to reconcile these figures to the satisfaction of one and all. However, what is most intriguing is how the foreigners tribuls could dispose of 2,030 cases in just one month when they had often failed to handle as many cases even in a year in the past. Had the earlier tribuls been instructed to go slow?