From our Special Correspondent
Silchar, September 9: The Notifications issued by the Union Government in respect of the refugees migrating from Bangladesh and Pakistan have been questioned by garikatwa Suraksha Sangram Committee (NSSC) and its legal sanction. In a joint press-statement, the conveners of the Committee, Sashanka Shekhar Paul, Arungshu Bhattacharjee, Pradip Kumar Deb, Nekib Hussain Chaudhury and Prabhas Chandra Deb said that the refugees, victims of religious persecution, have taken shelter in the 18 states of the country.
But, ignoring the fundamental issue of granting citizenship, the Notifications have been quite disappointing. This is particularly so when the spectre of ‘D’ voters, detention camp and the complications created by the NRC process which have the quite worrisome for the refugees. The NDA Government like the UPA has issued the Notifications in a piecemeal manner. Expressing their deepest sense of resentment, they have asked if the Union Government could use ordince 3 times on Land Acquisition Bill within 15 months, can it not take such a decision on the refugees.
The NDA Government could issue an ordince or introduce a Bill in the special session of the Parliament. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister should know that to provide protection to the refugees from Bangladesh and settled in Assam, 6 (a) proviso of the Citizenship Act has to be amended. It has been clearly mentioned that those who entered Assam on or before March 24, 1971 are foreigners. Before issuing the Notifications, the Citizenship Act should have been amended.
Sangram Committee thinks the move is just a political ploy keeping in view the ensuing elections of 2016. This is nothing but a brazen ‘vote-bank’ politics. It has raised certain relevant questions. Will the victims of persecution lodged in detention camps who came in Assam after 1971 be released? Secondly, what will happen to those against whom summons have been issued for being ‘D’ voters and whether the cases against them initiated by Foreigners’ Tribul will be withdrawn?
Moreover, the refugees who have submitted NRC forms with voter ID only, will they get relief or those who will be disqualified from being enlisted, will their mes get place in the draft rolls to be published in November? The Sangram Committee at the same time has hit out at those who have burst crackers and become overjoyed over the Notifications, is it not an ‘eyewash’ to hoodwink the helpless refugees on the eve of general elections. The Sangram Committee has called upon all to build up strong agitation in order to force the Centre to pass the Bill for granting citizenship to the refugees.