Barak literary body raises refugee issue with Ghulam bi Azad
SILCHAR, Feb 10: Barak Upatakya Banga Sahitya O Sanskriti Sammelan (BUBSOSS), central committee, based here met Ghulam bi Azad, Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, in the Circuit House during his recent visit. The literary and cultural body members apprised him of the refugee issue and the harassment of Bengalis in the me of ‘D’ voters in Assam. They brought to his notice the proposal of NDA Government to issue long term visa which would only add to their concerns.
Gautom Prasad Dutta, general secretary of the Sammelan, said, “We discussed with Ghulam bi Azad the statement of BJP Union Ministers, Rajth Singh and Sushma Swaraj, who during their election campaign in Barak Valley, went on record to say the Congress with its majority in Rajya Sabha would block any Bill on the issue of granting permanent citizenship to the minorities of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, and West Pakistan, migrating to this country, even after it was passed by the Lok Sabha.” They asked would Congress support the Bill?
It was impressed upon the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha to support the Bill when it is sent from Lok Sabha. It was also brought to his notice how the Bengalis were being indiscrimitely arrested by the police on the suspicion of their being foreigners and sent to detention camps. Ghulam bi Azad was shocked and amazed to know that even a hundred year old was put in jail and then camp. Gautom Prasad Dutta said the issue of refugees, their arrests and detention would be an issue in the coming assembly elections of Assam.
The leader of the opposition was cautioned if the issue was ignored, it would be a wrong approach and stand. The linguistic and literary body stated how the political parties of all hues have been maintaining silence over the continuing harassment and even inhuman treatment of the Bengalis. Dutta also alleged that “There is lack of seriousness and sincerity on the political level to introduce the Bill in Parliament.” This has generated resentment and anger among the victims and their families. Neither the Centre not the state of Assam has any concern.
Ghulam bi Azad was told if the Bill on citizenship was introduced in the Parliament without the modification in the Rules 6 (A) and 4 (A), it would never help in resolving the problem of the Bengalis of Assam. The issue of citizenship is also in other states. In view of it, Barak Banga said the Prime Minister was sent a memorandum earlier urging upon him to ensure the introduction of a composite citizenship Bill in Parliament. The PMO assured them of due consideration. The Bill was not brought in the last winter session and there is no possibility of its being introduced in the budget session.
BJP has no majority in Rajya Sabha. Ghulam bi Azad was requested to see that Congress supported the Bill in Rajya Sabha. He assured that the relevant papers given to him would be seriously examined and discuss it at the party level. If the Modi Government brought in the Bill, his party would examine its pros and cons and decide the next step. He would keep in mind the pleas of Barak Banga. During the discussion was also present Silchar MP Sushmita Dev who also clarified many aspects of the issue and sought his active support for the passage of the Bill in Rajya Sabha.