Hindu Bengali refugees
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 5: Assam Linguistic Minority Council Chairman Ardhendu Dey has accused Prime Minister rendra Modi of stopping short of doing what he had promised on the citizenship issue of the Hindu Bengali refugees under pressure from Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs and leaders of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
Talking to newsmen at Dispur Press Club today, Dey said: “In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Modi did promise to provide citizenship to Hindu Bengali refugees. After coming to power at the Centre, his government did issue a notification to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani tiols belonging to minority communities who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014, in respect of their entry and stay in India without proper documents or after the expiry of relevant documents. However, recently the Modi government has said that it is going to provide long-term visas to the Hindu Bengalis, and not citizenship. With such a step, the Centre has pushed the Hindu Bengali refugees towards an uncertain future.”
Dey said before the last Lok Sabha polls, Modi did promise solution to the problem of ‘D’ voters, dismantling the detention camps meant for foreigners through solution to the problem, bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks, etc., but none of the assurances has been fulfilled as yet.
“Bengali Hindus have a bigger role and sacrifices in the struggle for independence of India. However, at the time of partition of the country, their opinion wasn’t taken, leading to large number of families of the community falling in East Pakistan. Many of them came back to India and Assam under religious persecution and became refugees on a land for which they had to fight for independence. Even during the formation of Bangladesh, a large number of Hindu Bengalis entered India, including Assam, and most of them have been languishing as refugees. There’s are interlly accepted norms for refugees. We have examples before us that the people of Syria are in European countries,” Dey said, and added: “Modi had to stop short of providing citizenship status to the Hindu Bengalis as promised by him following pressure from Sarbanda Sonowal and the leaders of the AASU. Sonowal became the Jatiya yak after being able to abrogate the IM(DT) Act. If he becomes the Chief Minister of Assam, he will try his best to translate his hidden agenda. We won’t let that happen. Hindu Bengalis are majority in 40 LACs in Assam, and they’re going to vote against the BJP. It was Sonowal who was vocal in denying indigenous status to the Hindu Bengalis by sticking to 1951 cut-off date.”
Dey said: “The BJP is going to bite the dust in the Assam Assembly elections. My friend Himanta Biswa Sarma is going to face his first defeat in elections as Jalukbarti LAC has 40 per cent Hindu Bengali voters who voted for him. Now, he will lose those votes. He, however, can make the situation in his and his party’s favour if, with the help of BJP president Amit Shah, he can change the Chief Ministerial candidate of the party. I’ll campaign against the BJP, ask all Hindu Bengalis to vote against the BJP. We’ll teach the party a lesson in the 2016 Assembly elections in the State.”