From Special Correspondent
Silchar, March 5: “Unless and until Indian Government goes for an agreement to accept its citizens after deportation, the massive exercise in detection and identification in Assam will be infructuous”, pointed out Sushmita Dev, MP, at a press-meet in the Retreat Club on Saturday. She strongly argued for such agreement when “Our relations with Bangladesh are cordial”. Knowledgeable circles are aware that the push-back of Bangladeshis without any official has been more than cosmetic. Many of those pushed back beyond no man’s land have maged to infiltrate through holes in the porous border.
It is pertinent to recall here the cases of 19 Bangladeshis detained in Silchar Central Jail were for the first time officially deported recently. 6 more are on the waiting list. This could be possible because of the mutual agreement between Delhi and Dhaka, admitted Dharmanda Deb, president of state Hindu Legal Cell. Among those deported were a woman and her two sons. The Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) accepted the woman as the citizen of Bangladesh but refused to take back her two sons. It was later on possible due to the intervention of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, pointed out Dharmanda Deb.
The successive governments at Dispur from time to time under pressure from the opposition have come out with figures of expulsions for public consumption. When there will be complete sealing of the border by 2019 as revealed by Dr. Rajth Singh, Home Minister of India, Sushmita Dev apprehended of a situation when those declared foreigners would be lodged in detention camps permanently. She cited instances of even indigenous persons sent to detention camps. She said Nehru-Liaquat Pact of 1950 did have provision of deportation. But with the ectment of IM(DT) Act of 1983, it was annulled.
In order to provide protection to the genuine Indian citizens, particularly belonging to the Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Chakma communities of Bangladesh, the Notification of September 7, 2015, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs proved to be ineffective. Presently, Sushmita Dev added to say the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is to be tabled in the Parliament to give more teeth to the legal move. But, she was skeptical about the fate of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Significantly, she is one of the members on the Standing Committee on the Bill.
Sushmita Dev, however, was hopeful of protection of minorities of Bangladesh in case of their stay in India could be possible with an amendment of the Constitution. Such a situation is possible if BJP comes to power again in 2019 with majority in both the Houses. She made this statement to imply that even her party might not support the Bill pending in the House. She also raised question over the drafting of the Bill. According to her, ‘the problem of the suspect Bangladeshis is our concern and all the leaders have to sit irrespective of their party allegiance and resolve it’.
Sushmita Dev expressed her surprise at the frequent change of dates for the iuguration of the much vaunted ‘Passport Seva Kendra’ here. As officially communicated, she is to iugurate it but she has been kept on tenterhook. She wanted its functioning as early as possible in the larger interest of the 40 lakh people of Barak Valley. She would ask the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar to fix a date with the higher authority concerned at Delhi and Guwahati. When her attention was drawn to the large scale anomalies and irregularities committed in the implementation of MGNREGA during Gogoi regime in Cachar as is being highlighted in the media, she supported time bound inquiry and investigation to unearth any scam related to it. But, for that no development work should be halted.