Guwahati, Assam: Stressing the need to address the “root cause” behind the recent round of communal violence in Assam, senior BJP leader LK Advani demanded that the government act against illegal migration from Bangladesh.
Advani, who is on a day-long visit to Assam, said the state as well as the central government has committed criminal delay in dealing with the situation.
Advani pointed out that illegal migration from Bangladesh was the root cause behind the ethnic violence in Assam as indigenous people of the state are being “squeezed out” of the own land.
“Due to the collusion between Government of India and the state government on illegal migration three problems have arisen. First, the indigenous people of Assam are feeling alienated as they are losing control of their own land, while illegal Bangladeshi’s have embarked in land grab. Second is the ethnic problem as people fear that they will be marginalised in their own areas. The third reason is the demographic change taking place in entire Assam,” Advani said.
“The three problems that have emanated from illegal immigration is a serious threat to unity and integrity of India,” he added.
Referring to the July 2005 SC judgement that declared the IMDT Act as unconstitutional, Advani demanded that those guilty of aggression should be deported.
The Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) (IMDT) Act was Indian law enacted in 1983 by Indira Gandhi government. The act was only applicable in Assam and described the procedures to detect illegal immigrants (from Bangladesh) and expel them from Assam.
The Act was pushed through mainly on the grounds that it provided special protections against undue harassment to the “minorities” that were affected by the Assam agitation, however it is said to be the biggest reason behind the growing illegal immigration from Bangladesh.
Advani said illegal immigration has led to a situation where 11 out of the 27 districts in Assam are now Muslim dominated.
The BJP veteran stressed that the need of the hour is to create national consensus on four burning issues:
1. Let this problem not be viewed as a Hindu vs Muslim problem. It should be viewed as Indian vs foreigner problem.
2. Updated national register of citizens must be created- non-citizens must be deleted from the voters list.
3. Non-violation of tribal rights in Bodo areas.
4. Assam should be saved to save India’s unity in the North-East
Advani added that he party will take up the issue in the Parliament during the forthcoming Monsoon Session.