Dhubri, Sept. 19: Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today faced flak for his statement that cattle smuggling was not as rampant and infiltration not as serious in the border areas as alleged by the Opposition.
Gogoi had said this while visiting Sonahat and Satrasal in Dhubri district yesterday.
Various political parties and non-political organisations today said Gogoi should have visited the Mancachar, Sukchar, Motirchar and riverine border areas of Dhubri district to get the real picture.
The BJP’s Dhubri district unit president Dipak Kumar Saha said if Gogoi had visited other parts of the border, he would have understood the gravity of the situation.
“A large part of the border is wide open and the BSF being understaffed finds it difficult to man it. Taking advantage of this, infiltration is increasing. But it is unfortunate that Gogoi overlooked these problems,” he said.
The AASU’s state organising secretary Putul Chandra Roy Pradhani said Gogoi’s “insensible” statement had exposed the Congress’s unwillingness to stop infiltration and cattle smuggling.
“How could Gogoi ignore these problems when even the UN, in its recent report, admitted largescale infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals in Assam? Concerned over these problems raised by the AASU, the then Union home minister, Shivraj Patil, had sanctioned a pilot project to fence the riverine border at Moslabari sar a few years ago,” Pradhani said.
Social worker Sukumar Barua said the statement had shocked the people in Dhubri.
The Dhubri district unit president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Ranjit Kumar Roy, alleged that despite being reprimanded by Gauhati High Court on several occasions for failing to stop infiltration, Gogoi’s statement “protects the vote bank of Bangladeshis in the state”. The AGP alleged that Gogoi had surrendered before illegal migrants.