NUMBERS SAY IT ALL
GUWAHATI: Numbers say it all – from March 2013 to July 2020, only 227 Bangladeshis were deported from Assam even though the FTs (Foreigners Tribunals) declared 1,36,149 people as foreigners till July 2020.
In his bid to defend the poor deportation rate during the aforesaid seven-year period, State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary told the Assembly that legal hurdles had led to such a situation. "After FTs declare people as foreigners, they move the Gauhati High Court and the Supreme Court of India challenging the FT orders, and that delays the process," he said.
Replying to a question from Rupjyoti Kurmi of the Congress, Patowary said, "Earlier, the prevalent deportation system was just to push back Bangladeshis to their country. In that system, the pushed-back Bangladeshis reentered Assam. However, now there is a mechanism for the handing over of Bangladeshis to BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) after holding talks with them. Till their deportation, declared foreigners are kept in the detention camps. Now, 425 declared foreigners are in various detention camps across the State. Communication is on with Bangladesh to deport all these people."
Kurmi further said that according to Clause-V of the Assam Accord, any Bangladeshi entering Assam after March 24, 1971 should be detected and deported. "Now the government wants to make 2014 as the cut-off year for the detection of foreigners. The government has to come clear on this issue," he said.
Imdadul Haque Choudhury of the AIUDF then questioned, "What does it indicate that only 227 Bangladeshis were detected in the past seven years from 2013-2020? Hasn't the government failed in implementing the Assam Accord? Hasn't the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) violated the Clause-VI of the Assam Accord? The people of Assam have to get a clear-cut answer from the government on this issue."
Patowary replied, "Some people are out to politicize the issue of CAA. They are giving an impression that the CAA will make more Bangladeshis enter Assam in hordes. Can anybody tell us as to how many Bangladeshis have entered Assam and where after the enactment of CAA? The State government is committed to implement the Assam Accord word by word. The High-Level Committee on Clause VI of the Assam Accord has already submitted its report to the government. The Indo-Bangla border fencing is over barring a four-km stretch in Karimganj town."
On the final NRC, Patowary said, "Our stand before the Supreme Court of India was quite clear – we wanted re-verification of 20 per cent people in districts bordering Bangladesh and 10 per cent in other districts of the State."
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