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Bangladeshi genie is back in Assam

(The photo doesn't relate to this write-up)

Assam is burning. According to media reports pouring in 47 people are dead and tens of thousands are homeless ( in the clashes between indigenous tribesmen and settlers in the Udalguri district of Assam.

Someone tracking the crisis would know how the media were carrying the news. At first it was hiding the name of the two communities. Of late, however it has started resurfacing the names of the communities: migrated Bangladeshi muslims and Bodo.

The situation in the Udalguri district, as well as in the neighbouring Chirang district, has exacerbated to such an extent that police “in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam are using helicopters to spot rioting mobs”.

Residents of the state of Assam, like this minority-community Bishnupriya Manipuri which has its existence in the Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts of the state, and in the neighboruing state Tripura, know how serious the situation is.

Assam like its neighbouring states is consists of many tribal communities living peacefully since centuries. However, the early 70’s saw influx of Bangladeshi muslims in the state, consequently it has changed significantly the demography of the tea state. The exodus of Bangladeshi muslim, no doubt has cast economical, social and political impact on the state. The tension between Bangladeshi settlers and the origins were simmering and the recent incident is an example of the people’s anger towards the settlers.

Here, it is pertinent to mention that in the districts (Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj) and the state (Tripura) where the Bishnupriya Manipuri community like other communities Bengalis, Kacharis, Barmans, Boros (many are not mentioned) are in large numbers, though in minority, there exist a sizable population of Bangladeshi immigrant muslims. In the context that the riot is sweeping fast in the districts, these districts must be kept safe and efforts must be carried out to dodge the fire. If not, then the whole Assam will be in fire.

Readers not acquainted with the state of affair in the north eastern state of India should know that the present turmoil is due to influx of Bangladeshi people (read muslims) from the neighboring country Bangladesh; political patronage they got in the state with voting rights; now defunct IMDT Act favouring them.

Early 80’s saw mass agitation of the people to the issue; ending up with the signing of the Assam Accord between the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Agitation in New Delhi on August 15, 1985, which sat time limit to identify “foreigners who came to Assam on or after March 25, 1971 shall continue to be detected, deleted and practical steps shall be taken to expel such foreigners”.

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