GUWAHATI: The Janagosthiya Samannay Parishad, Asom (JSPA) has decided to conduct a census of indigenous Muslims of the State – Goria, Moria and Desi – on its own.
The JSPA is a conglomerate of 23 indigenous Muslim organizations of the State.
Addressing the media here on Saturday, JSPA chief convener Muminul Aowal said, "This census is aimed at establishing indigenous Muslims' identity which is at stake due to the onslaught from the Muslims of East Bengal origin. An impression is prevailing in the State that all those belonging to religious minority in Assam are immigrant Muslims. This is not the fact. Similarities in names with Muslims of East Bengal origin also make the indigenous Muslims suffer.
"The BJP-led government did assure us of conducting a survey of indigenous Muslims and carrying out other development activities. However, the government couldn't fulfill the assurances. And hence we're doing it on our own.
"The indigenous Muslims have histories dating back to the Ahom Rule. Their contribution to the social life in Assam is remarkable.
"We're going to start the census from April 15 and conclude by July 15, 2021. It will be like NRC (National Register of Citizens) update exercise through a website www.jspacensus.com. The heads of families of the three indigenous Muslim communities will have to apply seeking entry of their names in the list of indigenous Muslims. The applications should have certificates from gaoburhas and letters from any of the indigenous Muslim organizations.
"If the applicants make mistakes in their applications, we'll let them know online for correction. In July a draft lists will be published for people to lodge complaints regarding exclusion or wrong inclusion of names. There will be hearings for that at the circle level.
"Every indigenous Muslim will be issued a certificate."