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Minister clears stand on influx

Guwahati, Dec. 10: Out of 1,530 persons detained by various organisations from 2005 till date suspecting them to be illegal migrants, only 15 have been found to be Bangladeshi nationals.

This was stated by the government in the Assam Assembly today.

Replying to a question by AIUDF legislator Aminul Islam, minister for environment and forests Rakibul Hussain said since 2005, altogether 1,530 persons had been detained by different organisations from various parts of the state, suspecting them to be illegal migrants. They had been handed over to police.

Hussain, who was replying on behalf of chief minister Tarun Gogoi, said only 15 of them had been identified as Bangladeshi citizens while 826 were Indians.

Hussain said that out of those identified as Bangladeshi citizens, eight had been deported while seven are in judicial custody.

According to the minister, the nationality of the remaining 689 persons is being ascertained.

Islam said some organisations “which do not have any authority” are picking up persons suspecting them to be illegal migrants and then handing them over to the police. Islam described these incidents as a violation of human rights.

He said such incidents may disrupt communal harmony in the state and sought to know what steps are being taken by the state government to check them.

Islam also asked whether the state government was aware that persons from lower Assam, who have lost their land and homes to erosion by the Brahmaptura and its tributaries and migrated to Upper Assam in search of livelihood and working there as daily wage earners, were being harassed in the name of detection and deportation of illegal migrants.

Hussain said from time to time such incidents were being witnessed and whenever such an incident comes to light, necessary measures are taken by the government.

Of late incidents of NGO and students’ organisations apprehending persons suspected to be illegal migrants have been on the rise in the state.