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Safeguard sons of the soil, Manch to Assam BJP

Life and property of indigenous people not safe, even Foreigners Tribul judge thrashed for identifying illegal foreigners: Upamanyu Hazarika


GUWAHATI, Feb 18: The anti-immigration front ‘Prabrajan Virodhi Manch’ along with a few other organizations led a demonstration in front of the BJP’s State headquarters on Saturday and slammed the State government, led by the party, for not fulfilling its poll promises of protecting ‘jati, mati and bheti’ of the indigenous people of Assam.

The Manch said the present government has failed in providing constitutiol safeguards to the State’s indigenous people who are on the verge of becoming minority in different parts of the State. The Manch also submitted a memorandum containing a 13-point demand charter to the State unit of the BJP at its headquarters at Hengrabari in the city, giving a 15-day timeframe for the government’s reply on the same.

Upamanyu Hazarika, convener of the Manch, said though the government has started eviction of encroachers in some parts of the State, all the eviction drives were left half done for reasons best known to the government. “Indigenous people of the State voted for the BJP hoping that it would protect their jati, mati and bheti. But in reality, the indigenous people, both in upper and lower Assam, don’t have any security of life and property these days,” said Hazarika, adding, “The situation is such that a judge of a foreigners tribul was beaten up for doing his duty of identifying illegal foreigners in the State.”

The Manch convener further said, “These issues have been raised by the people of Assam for the last 9 months and are expectantly waiting for a response, because the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections have been won by the party only on the assurance that the interest and identity of the indigenous people will be protected,” adding, “Despite the change of government at Dispur, the influence of encroachers in different parts of the State still looks prominent. It also proves that political parties only put importance on getting votes and not fulfilling their promises.”

Some of the important points mentioned in the memorandum were the government’s failure in fulfilling the assurance of making thousands of bighas of encroached lands in Sipajhar, Palashbari and Batadrava constituencies free of people belonging to doubtful tiolity, the controversial role of Sipajhar MLA Binda Saikia in protecting people from doubtful tiolity in some parts of his constituency, the move by the Central government to amend the Citizenship Act and the deportation of negligible number of identified illegal foreigners from the State over the last several years.  

“The Supreme Court is seized of three important issues which will decide the future of the indigenous people in the State. Firstly, the cut off date – 1951 or 1971 – for granting citizenship to migrants from Bangladesh and secondly, granting of citizenship by birth to children of foreigners born in India, who came after 1971. Why has neither the Central nor the State government taken any stand or declared its stand on these vital issues before the court and the public?” added the memorandum.

On the demands made by the Prabrajan Virodhi Manch, BJP vice president Vijay Gupta said, “The demands put forward by the Manch are also the promises made by the party and we are committed to fulfill our promises. The State government has already started eviction drives in some parts of the State,” adding, “We will also let the government as well as the party president know about the demands made by the Manch.”