SILCHAR, Sept 8: The Notifications issued by the Central Government in the Official Gazette on Monday under the Passport (Entry into India) Act of 1920 and the Foreigners’ Act of 1946 have been welcomed by all the wings of the Sangha Parivaar of Barak Valley. BJP, among all the fronts, has been waiting for such a move by the NDA Government because at stake has been its support of the Hindu Bengalis, its main plank in the elections. rendra Modi, Prime Minister, during his pre election campaign of 2014 gave assurance of protecting the Hindus and other minorities.
The Notifications speak of humanitarian grounds to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani tiols belonging to the minority communities who have entered India on or before December 21, 2014 from the purview of the aforesaid two Acts. These minorities have been forced to seek shelter in India due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution. In fact, Sangha Parivaar, RSS, VHP and BJP on the basis of the reports of indiscrimite arrests and detention of Hindu Bengalis in Assam pressured the NDA Government to issue these Notifications.
But, questions have been raised in competent circles how far the Notifications will be effective in protecting the Hindu Bengalis in particular. There is no legal sanction behind it. In the present context, it has been pointed out will it not affect the process of the judgements of Foreigners’ Tribuls, summons issued on ‘D’ voters and those already in the detention camp? In other words, such process will continue till the Notifications are backed by legal sanction. Opposition describe the Notifications as a ‘political ploy’ to rope in the support of Hindu Bengalis in the general elections of 2016.
The noted advocate and legal expert Hafeez Rashid Choudhury while welcoming the Notifications raises the relevant question about its legal validity. Those who entered India on or before December 31, 2014 can stay without documents. But, what about citizenship? Moreover, 6(a) proviso of the Citizenship Act has to be amended. According to him, Notifications alone cannot serve the purpose. Of course, citizenship issue is under the consideration of the Centre.
Dr. Rajdeep Roy, state general secretary of BJP, described the Notifications as a ‘historic step’ of the NDA Government. He said Hindus since Independence have been betrayed by the successive Congress Governments. He admitted Notifications are not sufficient, law is necessary. It is a long process, but he expects rendra Modi Government will keep its words.
Kabindra Purkayastha, former Union Minister and MP, expressing his happiness said it was way back in 2010 that he moved a private member Bill in the Parliament for protecting of Hindu Bengalis, but UPA Government of the time did not give any importance to it. The Notifications are long overdue, he added to say. Dilip Paul, MLA of Silchar, was more ecstatic and pointed out it was the expected move by the NDA. ‘A great moment’ and ‘a bold step’ by the NDA, he opined.
Cachar district president of BJP, Kaushik Rai, was also happy that thousands of Hindu Bengalis and other minorities have been in uncertainty over their citizenship. This uncertainty is now over. Biswarup Bhattacharjee, Karimganj BJP district president, too agreed that party has been the target of criticism for not doing enough for ensuring the citizenship of Hindu Bengalis.
Congress leaders of the valley have their own reservations on the Notifications. Satu Roy, Karimganj district Congress president, dubbed them as ‘a hoax’ and ‘a political gimmick’. There is nothing to cheer about. Kamalakha Deb Purkayastha, MLA of North Karimganj, said, “There is nothing to rejoice. It is a vote-bank politics of BJP to come to power.” Sushmita Dev, MP of Silchar, without making any comment before the media-persons has written a letter to the Union Home Ministry, seeking clarifications on the fate of those who have been and are being served with summons, the ongoing process of NRC as well as ‘D’ voters.
Notwithstanding the sneering and jeering by Congress, the jubilant BJP leaders and workers as well as supporters joined together in a rally expressing their gratitude to rendra Modi Government for the Notifications today. Significantly, among the marchers were tribals which added colour and gusto to the rally. There was bursting of crackers and the whole atmosphere was turned into gaiety with the beating of drums and airing of slogans hailing rendra Modi Government.