Mumbai: Lamenting that the Assam Accord was still on paper, Assam Gana Parishad legislator Alka Sarma on Monday asserted that the violence should not be seen as a Bodo-Muslim conflict.
The implementation of the accord could have helped in easing `Assamese versus foreign nationals` tension, Sarma said while interacting with the media at the Press Club here.
"The Assam agitation dates back to 1979 against illegal foreign nationals, which culminated in the signing of the Assam Accord. Assamese people had assimilated Bangladeshis who had migrated till 1966. As per the Accord, those Bangladeshis who came between 1966 and 1971 will be barred from voting for ten years," Sarma said.
The Accord also mentioned that the international borders will be sealed, however, the clauses are yet to see the light of the day, she regretted.
Referring to the present violence, she claimed that the Assam government was aware that tension was building up but failed to act in time to check it.
"The government is still in denial over the presence of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam," she said.
As per the Foreigners Act, the onus of proving Indian citizenship lies on the person concerned. However, according to the Illegal Migrant Determination Tribunal (IMDT) invoked in Assam, the onus lies on the complainant. "Nowhere in the world, there are two set of laws for the same purpose in one country," she stated.
The IMDT detected 54,000 illegal Bangladeshi migrants but no steps have been taken to deport them. Similarly, over 80,000 had come with valid documents and withered away. In 1985, nearly two lakh people were identified as "D" (doubtful) category voters but still no action has been taken," she said.