Dispur still in dark over definition of 'Assamese'
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 3: Legislators of both the ruling and opposition parties in the State feel the need for a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh which will eble deportation of detected illegal migrants from the State.
Unless there is an agreement signed between the two countries on the issue, the task of deporting detected illegal migrants will not be easy, they felt.
So far, over 83,000 illegal Bangladeshi migrants have been detected in the State and of them, only a little over 2,000 have been deported.
During Question Hour at the Assembly today, AGP MLA Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said Bangladesh must agree to take back their tiols who have been staying illegally in Assam. “When the AGP was in power in the State, we had persuaded the Centre to take up the issue with Bangladesh. However, it did not materialize then. The government should now take up the matter with high priority,” Mahanta said.
Assam Accord Implementation minister Dr Bhumidhar Barman admitted that Bangladesh has been reluctant to take back their tiols. “Even if we push them (illegal migrants) back, they tend to enter the State again through another route,” he said.
Dr Barman also said that the detected illegal migrants going missing in the State is another issue of serious concern. “After a court pronounces a verdict against them, they abscond, change mes…making it difficult for the police to trace them,” the minister said.
AGP legislator Phani Bhusan Choudhury took potshots at the government machinery, questioning as to how illegal migrants are able to do the vanishing act after being declared by courts as foreigners.
Speaker Prab Kumar Gogoi intervened in the debate and said unless the State’s intertiol border with Bangladesh is sealed, there is no point in raising the infiltration issue in the House for any solution. “Till the border is not sealed by fencing like that in Punjab, there is no point shouting here (to stop infiltration),” Gogoi said.
When AGP legislator Keshav Mahanta wanted to know the status of the exercise to determine the definition of “Assamese”, Dr Barman said that different tiolist organizations, led by the Axom Xahitya Xabha, have been entrusted by a cabinet sub-committee to come up with the definition of ‘Assamese people’. “They (organizations) have not yet come up with the definition. The government cannot frame the definition by itself,” Dr Barman added.