Silchar, June 27: “Despite all the assurances of ruling party politicians and bureaucrats connected with NRC update not to panic till the final process is completed”, ‘Nagarik Adhikar Raksha Samanvay Committee’ has dubbed midnight of June 30, the publication of final draft, “as a dark day for Bengalis, Hindus and Muslims”. A host of speakers at the mass convention held at Narsingtola maidan here went hammer and tongs to bring out the stark reality of a conspiracy being hatched against the largest linguistic and religious communities in the name of NRC update. As Mukta Lal Bhattacharjee said no one has any say against NRC update, but the very methodology and strategy adopted raises many a question about it being fair and transparent.
Bhattacharjee added to say many other communities and tribal groups migrated to India after partition of the country. None of these groups has been subjected to any form of harassment, but it is the Bengalis who are made the prime target. He suspected a deeper conspiracy behind it to declare Bengalis as ‘stateless’. Taking a cue from it, Sadhan Purkayastha, CRPC leader, said, “Behind this sinister design are the Assamese converted Bengali leaders who also played a pivotal role during the ‘Bengal Kheda’ (drive away Bengalis).”
Referring to the infamous Nellie and Gohpur riots which orphaned a large number of teen aged boys and girls forcing them to take shelter in relief camps, he asked can they produce any document to prove their citizenship?
Moulana Sarimul Haque, an Islamic thinker, scoffed at the claims of the so called ‘Khilinjias’ that they are the indigenous people of Assam and put the record straight to say they are from Myanmar, Thailand and Mongolia. Before their settlement in the state, it was the Pal dynasty who are the original inhabitants or Indians. He also hit out at the statement of ULFA (pro dialogue) to return to jungle if there is any interference by any group in the NRC update. This is a challenge to the democratic and constitutional set up of the country, he pointed out. The Centre and the state have to take action against such open threat even to throttle the voice of protest. Moulana Sarimul Haque cautioned against a volatile situation if names are indiscriminately deleted from the draft.
Nekib Hussain Choudhury, social activist, had a dig at the people’s representatives of Barak Valley, reminding them that they, 2 MPs and 15 MLAs, should resign immediately if names of applicants from this valley are deleted from the draft. It is after all on the votes of the masses that they have been elected. In any case, they cannot evade any responsibility. In the independent India, it is for the first time that a catastrophic situation awaits Bengalis. “It is a hydra headed approach to put Bengalis to extreme physical and mental torture. The fate of 1.42 lakh ‘D’ voters hangs before the Foreigners’ Tribunal. It is assumed 50 lakh applicants will face the predicament of being stateless”, said Manindra Das.
Kishore Bhattacharjee, a trade union leader, foresees an emergency like situation when through a State government notification public meeting and assembly will be banned after June 29 which he described as draconian to take away the fundamental rights of people. The time limit of one month to apply for those whose names do not figure in the final draft is yet another conspiracy. Can it be humanly possible to accommodate the claims and objections of 50 lakh applicants in one month? The condition of Bengalis in Assam can well be understood from the incident of March 6, 2017 at Shilapathar which led to detention and imprisonment of Subodh Biswas, a refugee leader and 54 others in jail. They continue to languish in imprisonment.
Moulana Ahmed Sayed Gobindapuri, noted Islamic thinker and scholar, advised both democratic movement and legal battle against the fall out of NRC final draft list. He said he would extend all help and cooperation to seek the intervention of UNO Convention on Refugees to seek intervention and justice for the deprived and disposed people of religious and linguistic minorities. The convention was presided over by Prof Niranjan Dutta. Others who addressed the assembly included journalist Sanat Koiri, educationist Dr Tapodhir Bhattacharjee and Rupam Nandi Purkayastha.