REGULARIZING MINORITY MIGRANTS
No official communication yet from New Delhi, 'ambiguous' notification leaves State Home department officials scratching their heads
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Sept 23: Assam government is yet to receive any communication from the Union Home Ministry regarding the notification it issued on September 7 regularizing stay of minority migrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The Central government has decided, on humanitarian considerations, 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, a statement issued by the Home Ministry had said. The decision has been taken under Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and Foreigners Act, 1946, it said.
Sources in the State Home department in Dispur said "officially" there has been no communication from the MHA regarding the notification. As a result, the State government has not yet issued any instructions to the Assam Police to act upon it.
"But we have collected a copy of the notification through our own sources," said the Home department sources, adding that on the face of it, the notification is ambiguous.
"There is no clarity on the citizenship status of the refugees who will be allowed to stay in India. The notification is silent on the citizenship status of those who will be allowed to stay even after expiry of their visas. Once we receive the official communication from the Central government, we will send some queries on it," said a senior official of the State Home department.
Meanwhile, border branch officials of Assam Police too are confused whether to continue apprehending immigrants or suspend the operation. "We are not sure if we should continue the hunt for illegal migrants. If the notification is implemented, all these immigrants (minority immigrants who entered India before December, 2014) will go scot free," said an inspector of the border branch.