NEW DELHI: After struggling for decades, migrants in Assam have been got temporary relief through a government notification that says they should not be treated as foreigners.

This is a temporary measure but has been welcomed by the impacted sections.

A delegation of Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samanvay Samiti, that comprises largely the Bengali hindus of Assam, met the state Home Minister in Guwahati.

The notification is for migrants Bengalis, Jains, Pakistani, Sikhs and Christians who have crossed the borders. The decision not to treat them as foreigners, that has been long overdue, has offered some relief as they have been agitating for Indian citizenship for nearly 30 years..

Speaking to the The Citizen, the state secretary of Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samanvay Samiti, Benimadhab Roy said, “ This is a partial relief for us. We have been demanding for this for the past three decades. We have nowhere to go. The instability that we have lived with for the past many years is alright but our children should get the desired stability in their life”

The notification that has struck at the root of the Assam Accord of 1985 that had provided for detecting and deporting foreigners who had come and settled in Assam after March 25,1971,has angered sections of the local Assamese. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has already started agitation and has decided to move the court on the issue.

The central government has had to come out with a policy statement on the issue as directed by the Supreme Court. But the experts believe that the decision will not only affect the political, economic and social life of Assam but will also have repercussions in Bihar, West Bengal and some other bordering northeastern states.

For a long time, various organizations of these displaced people are clamouring for refugee status as an initial step which, in their estimate, will naturally transform into the status of a bona fide citizen at a later date. However, the centre’s decision is at variance with what Narendra Modi had promised during his election campaign – detection and deportation of foreigners.

Assamese Students unions in the state have already started demonstration and protests. Many feel that this is a move to gain support in the forthcoming assembly elections in 2016.

Assam has 14 Lok Sabha seats and in the 2014 parliamentary election the BJP had captured seven. By all accounts the Congress ship is sinking in the state and the BJP hopes to gain further in the state elections next year.