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March against illegal migrants

- In Kokrajhar, 10000 rally against foreigners as tension simmers in neighbouring district

Kokrajhar, Sept. 9: The air rang out with slogans against illegal migrants as thousands of people marched through the streets of Kokrajhar today.

Around 10,000 people with banners and placards marched through the main thoroughfares for about 5km shouting slogans like “Bangladeshi Hatao, Bharat Bachao”, “Bideshi Hatao, BTC Bachao”, “No patta land, no rehabilitation”, “No resettlement for illegal Bangladeshis”, “Protect the tribal belt and block”, “Update NRC” and many others.

The peace rally organised by the Coordination Committee for Communal Harmony, a collective of 13 organisations representing various communities, started from Bodofa Nwgwr BTC Secretariat ground and ended at Kokrajhar District Sports Association ground.

Altogether 24 political and non-political organisations including Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Assam Sahitya Sabha, All Assam Students Union participated in the rally along with the public demanding deportation of illegal migrants.

Leaders from BPF, including local MLA Pramila Rani Brahma, BTC executive member Derhasat Basumatary also took part in the rally.

Hemendra Nath Brahma, convener of the co-ordination committee, said the spontaneous participation of people irrespective of caste, creed and community showed they are united about deportation of illegal migrants for lasting peace in the region.

He said they would be forced to launch a bigger democratic movement if the government shows lackadaisical attitude in detecting and deporting illegal migrants.

Brahma said the Assam government should ensure permanent peace in the region and update the National Register of Citizens immediately.

Matla Hembrom, chairman of the committee, said illegal migrants should leave and the government should make the state free of Bangladeshis.

“People want peace and development in the region. I urge them to maintain communal harmony irrespective of caste and religion,” he said.

For many participants, it was the call of the hour to participate in the rally. “We have had enough of the atrocities from illegal migrants who have encroached upon every inch of our land like riverine, forest and grazing land. The migrants should be driven away at any cost,” a college student said.

“We have seen and heard from our elders how the lands in tribal areas are used as dumping grounds of these illegal migrants for their votes. This must be stopped to save our land. Save indigenous people to save India,” another student said.