Guwahati, Sept. 15: Thousands today participated in an Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP)-sponsored rally for a Bangladeshi-free Assam on a day when government railway police was busy questioning a Bangladeshi national arrested at Guwahati railway station yesterday.
Slogans like “Bangladesh-is go back, Aah oi aah, ulai aah (One and all, come out), Ei jui jolise, joliboi (This fire is burning, will burn on)” and “Seal Assam-Bangladesh border” rent the air as participants of the rally, which started from Latasil playground, marched through Barowari, Guwahati Club, Ambari and Dighalipukhuri before returning to the starting point.
The protesters alleged that the state government and the Centre had failed to detect and deport Bangladeshis who entered Assam after March 25, 1971. They demanded that every Bangladeshi who had been living Assam illegally should be deported without delay, if required, by signing an agreement with Bangladesh. There is no deportation treaty between the two countries.
Around the time the rally was in progress, the GRP personnel were questioning Bangladeshi national, Muhammad Ali, 30, who told them that he was from Murpara village under Pallabi police station in Dhaka.
Ali said after entering West Bengal, he had proceeded to Varanasi in search of a job. He returned to Calcutta, worked in a hotel for two months and then set out for Assam.
Railway police said he was detained on suspicion during a routine check. A case (number 108/12) has been registered against him.
Addressing the protesters, AJYCP president Manoj Baruah said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who represents the state in the Parliament, had failed to take the initiative to stop illegal immigration.
The parishad leaders also criticised chief minister Tarun Gogoi for not taking the influx issue seriously.
Today’s rally comes a week after the North East Students’ Organisation (Neso), an umbrella organisation of student bodies from all over the region, organised a rally here with a similar demand.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) general secretary Akhil Gogoi, who attended the rally, said they had offered support to the AJYCP.
AGP, too, extended support, with its general secretary Durgadas Bodo asserting that the existence of the region’s indigenous people was at stake given the onslaught of illegal migration.
He also criticised Rahul Gandhi for his alleged comment that there were no Bangladeshis in the relief camps in BTAD and Dhubri during his recent trip to riot-hit areas.
“Twenty-seven years ago, Rajiv Gandhi, as the Prime Minister, signed the Assam Accord to deport illegal Bangladeshis. We are ashamed that now, his son, Rahul, does not see a single Bangladeshi.”
Bodo requested the Centre to sign an agreement with Bangladesh as soon as possible to ensure that the neighbouring country accepted back all Bangladeshis migrants detected in Assam.
The AGP also staged protests in different parts of the state over the diesel price hike.
All Asom Goriya Moria Deshi Parishad president S. Ahmed said Assam had already borne the “burden” of Bangladeshis who had entered the state between 1951 to 1971. “But the state cannot offer a place to more Bangladeshis. There was already a six-year-long struggle against Bangladeshis where more than 800 people sacrificed their lives. The Centre and the state government has insulted the people of the state by not implementing the Assam Accord.”
There were also protests by AASU in other parts of the state over influx.
BJP ST Morcha president Sajjan Singh Kulaste said in Guwahati that the encroachment on tribal land by alleged Bangaldeshis was a matter of serious concern and that the government should learn a lesson from the BTAD unrest.