Developed By: iNFOTYKE
Refugee status to B’deshis opposed
Guwahati: The BJP government’s move to provide refugee/citizenship status to Hindu Bangladeshi migrants who had come to India to escape persecution in their homeland, has evoked sharp reactions in Assam where illegal migration from Bangladesh has remained a burning problem for decades.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has opposed the attempt to provide refugee status to Hindu migrants from Bangladesh and stated that all illegal migrants from Bangladesh irrespective of religion must be deported from Assam as per Assam Accord clause that prescribes for deportation of illegal Bangladeshi migrants who had come to Assam after March 25, 1971.
The AASU has stated that it was not going to accept segregation of illegal migrants of religious line. Same stand has been taken by newly-formed regional political party, Gana Mukti, Asom has demanded that all the illegal migrants from Bangladesh must be treated at par irrespective of their religion and deported from Assam.
The party asserted that it would not allow the BJP to indulge in politics over the religion of illegal Bangladeshi migrants. It said according refugee status to illegal Hindu migrants from Bangladesh would dilute the clause of Assam Accord regarding deportation of illegal migrants from the state.
However, BJP government’s move has found a supporter in Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi who has maintained that Congress was of granting refugee status to any Bangladeshi migrants who had to come to Assam leaving their homeland to escape persecution.
Gogoi, however, stops short of specifying religion of such migrants. Assam BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharrya firmly supported the BJP government’s move to accord refugee/citizenship status to Hindu Bangladeshi migrants who are victims of persecution in their homeland. He said the country was divided on the basis of religion and at that time Indian government had decided to provide protection to Hindus facing persecution in then East Pakistan.
He further said that as per ‘Immigrants and Expulsion Act ’, refugee status should be provided to those Hindus who had to flee East Pakistan because of harassment.
Regarding the clause of Assam Accord that prescribes for deportation of illegal migrants from Bangladesh who had come after March 25, 1971, the state BJP president said that even those Hindus who had to leave Bangladesh because of persecution should be given citizenship.
He pointed out that the BJP government in the Centre would ensure that Assam alone doesn’t have to bear the burden of these Hindu Bangladeshis who will be distributed among all states in the country.