Noisy scenes in Assam Assembly over migrants, terror attack

Guwahati, Aug 8 (IANS) The Assam assembly witnessed noisy scenes on Monday on the issue of illegal Bangladeshi migrants and the recent terror attack in Kokrajhar district that left 14 civilians dead and 20 injured.

Soon after question hour, opposition members demanded a discussion on the Kokrajhar violence. Congress legislators pointed out that the last Assembly election was held peacefully in the Bodoland Territorial Area District region as the previous Congress government had taken up adequate security measures.

The Congress legislators said that a visit by the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) and Assam Congress Legislature Party (ACLP) to Kokrajhar after the terror attack has exposed various faults of the present BJP-led government in Assam.

“There used to be a security post in the Balajan Tiniali area where the violence took place on Friday. Unfortunately, the security was withdrawn after the BJP government took over. The security in the area was reduced due to counter-insurgency operations in the Indo-Bhutan international border area,” Congress legislators said.

The Congress legislators also requested the state government to allow the National Investigation Agency to take over the case.

Meanwhile, former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta also raised the issue of illegal foreigners, particularly the issue of Hindu Bengalis from Bangladesh. Mahanta wanted to know the stand of the state government in view of the Centre’s reported move to grant citizenship to religious minorities in Bangladesh who enter Assam and other parts of India.

Replying to Mahanta, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that the AGP leader was trying to ask a question without understanding the issue.

“There is no question of granting citizenship to the minorities from Bangladesh. So far the Centre has not issued any instruction to us in this regard. So there is no question of discussing the matter now. If there is any such move by the Centre, we will discuss it,” Patowary said.

Mahanta, however, pointed out that if the Centre goes for amending the Citizenship Act to grant citizenship status to these migrant minorities from Bangladesh, states like Assam and West Bengal have to bear the burden.

“This is on record that there are still 1.72 crore Hindus in Bangladesh now and if they were to migrate, Assam and West Bengal will be their choices,” Mahanta said adding that the state government must tell the Centre to implement the Assam Accord which will be a constitutional safeguard for the people of Assam.

–IANS

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