Guwahati, Sept. 15: Indigenous communities in the state today resolved to join hands on the issue of illegal migrants and encroachers, at a special convention of all tribal non-political organisations on the situation in the BTAD and neighbouring districts, at NEDFi House in Guwahati.
The convention decided to form a co-ordination committee of various indigenous communities, demanding eviction of encroachers from tribal belts and blocks and protection by implementing Chapter X of the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation Act, 1886.
It will also organise a rally against illegal foreigners and a demonstration in Delhi during the next parliamentary session.
The convention was organised by the Co-ordinated Committee of the All-Bodo National Organisations, which is strongly opposing the rehabilitation of illegal migrants.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajendra Nunisa, the president of the Dimasa Sahitya Sabha, said, “It is not the time to sit. It is time to work. We should remain united and fight against the atrocities on the indigenous people, their land and rights.”
Aditya Kaklary, the general secretary of the All- Assam Tribal Sangha, said the people had come forward spontaneously and raised their voices on the foreigners’ issue.
Prafulla Hafilla, the president of the Dimasa Students’ Union, said different organisations have varied opinions but they had a common problem.
The general secretary of the NDFB-P, Govinda Basumatary, said, “There is the need for a raksha kawaj (armour) to safeguard tribal lands.”
He criticised the national leaders for being soft on illegal migrants.
“If they are supporting the settlement of illegal migrants, they should take them and settle in their areas. Assam should not be used as a dumping ground,” he said, referring to a statement made by Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh, who had said that there were no illegal Bangladeshis in Assam and all are Indian citizens.
“Assam is a part of India and when people coming after 1951 are identified as foreigners in other parts of the country, the same should apply in case of Assam as well,” he said.
The convention also stressed the need to screen the credentials of the displaced people according to Chapter X of the Assam Land and Revenue Regulations, 1886 and the provisions of Section 3(2)(c) of the Foreigners’ Act, 1946 so that no illegal immigrants and unauthorised outsiders can take advantage of the rehabilitation process.
It also resolved to demand proper scrutiny of the relief camp inmates on the basis of land documents before rehabilitation.
Leaders from various organisations, including Bodo, Tiwa, Mising, Dimasa, Rabha, Modahi Sahitya Sabha and student leaders, participated in the convention.