New Delhi: Ruing that not enough has been done to protect interests of tribals and indigenous people of Assam, organisations and ethnic groups of the northeast have demanded immediate implementation of the Assam Accord and strict action against illegal migrants.
The continuous influx of illegal migrants has displaced indigenous communities and poses a threat not only to the identity of the indigenous people but also a major security hazard for the country, speakers said during the release of a booklet on illegal immigration in Assam Saturday.
The booklet, titled "Illegal Migration in Assam and the Northeast: Essential Facts" and put together by Supreme Court lawyer Upamanyu Hazarika, places fundamental facts on demography, population trends and growths in border districts, displacement and hardships following the present clashes and exodus of people of the northeast from other states.
Releasing the booklet, Lok Sabha MP Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmutiary lashed out at the Centre and the Assam government for not taking necessary steps when the clashes broke.
He said the Centre sent troops to the state only after five days of the unrest when the damage was already done.
"When violence broke out on July 20, I made several attempts to contact the Prime Minister, Home Minister, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Home Secretary but all went in vain. On July 23, Sonia Gandhi`s personal secretary responded but only asked me to send an e-mail on the issue".
According to Bwiswmuthiary, there is no dearth of law in India to identify foreigners but still nothing has been done to detect and deport illegal immigrants.
"One of the greatest tragedies for the people of Assam is that the Assam Accord is yet to be implemented even after 27 years of its signing," he said, adding, "People in power have compromised with the foreigners issue for vote bank politics".
Delhi-based student leaders from Dimasa Students Union, Tripura Students Forum, Karbi Students Union, All Bodo Students Union, Nepali Sanskrit Parishad and Delhi Achik Youth Association, academicians and advocates also expressed their views.
"The disturbances and tensions will continue to fester unless steps are taken to implement the Assam Accord of August 15, 1985 and removal of encroachers from reserved forests, government land and tribal areas," the booklet says.