AASU Opposes New Delhi's Offer for Asylum to Hindu Migrants, Says "All Foreigners Must be Deported"
NEW DELHI: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) will file an intervention appeal in the Supreme Court over an ongoing case concerning the Centre’s notification on providing asylum to Hindu Bangladeshi migrants in India.
The central government’s decision to differentiate between ‘foreigners’ on religious lines has thus, created tensions between BJP and AASU even though both have allied for the forthcoming Assembly elections. In fact the announcement of the alliance has since split AASU, thereby weakening the organisation that has no representation at the moment in the Assembly.
In a statement from Guwahati, AASU said “It was decided under the Assam Accord that all illegal Bangladeshi migrants irrespective of their religious affiliation will have to be detected and deported from Assam. The Centre’s stand seeking asylum and then citizenship status for illegal Hindu migrants from Bangladesh is an out and out anti-people stand. If accepted, it will jeopardize the very existence of the State’s indigenous populace”.
The students’ body says that it will not agree to the Centre’s directive of granting shelter to Hindu migrants from Bangladesh. Having earlier filed a writ petition challenging the Centre’s notification, the students’ body has decided to file an intervention appeal as it has not received any positive response from the government.
In September 2015, the Government of India notified that Bangladeshi migrants should not be treated as foreigners. A delegation of Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samanvay Samiti, which is demanding the rights for the migrants for long met the central leadership in September. However since then AASU has launched a statewide stir.
The Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samanvay Samiti, that comprises largely the Bengali Hindus of Assam have come to the state capital, Guwahati to present their demands to the Home Minister.
The notification is about allowing the migrants Bengalis, Jains, Pakistani, Sikhs and Christians who have crossed the border for various reasons not to be treated as foreigners.
Speaking to the The Citizen, the State Secretary of Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samanvay Samiti, Benimadhab Roy said, “ There should be a delegation of political representatives and senior officials to make them understand our dilemma. We have suffered it for so long at least our children need to be treated with sympathy and dignity”.
The notification that has reportedly 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, irked the Assamese. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has been protesting since September and now they have decided to move the court.
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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised during his election campaign – detection and deportation of all foreigners.
(Photograph: Poorest of the Poor now terrified in Assam)