| A rally in Sivasagar on Wednesday demanding deportation of illegal migrants from Assam. Picture by Eastern Projections |
Guwahati, Aug. 13: Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today criticised a Gauhati High Court judge’s comment about the possibility of Bangladeshi migrants becoming “kingmakers in Assam”, calling it a “sweeping remark” made without substantiation.
“On what basis did the (high court) judge say that a Bangladeshi will become a kingmaker in Assam? Can a handful of people become a kingmaker of three crore people?” he asked.
Gogoi said if necessary, he would move court to challenge the observation.
The high court’s statement has led to a renewed drive by the AASU to evict suspected Bangladeshis from the state.
The chief minister, however, said the ongoing controversy over the migrant issue would have been triggered even without the court’s remark. “It is not because of the court’s remark that the controversy started. The foreigners’ issue crops up ahead of elections. It is guided by political considerations,” he said.
“Since my schooldays I have been hearing that Bangladeshis will become kingmakers in Assam. But let me assure you that a Bangladeshi can never be a kingmaker. After all, how many Bangladeshis are there in the state? AASU says in the next 10 years, a Bangladeshi will become a chief minister in Assam. Hopefully, I will be alive then to prove it wrong,” the chief minister said.
Admitting that there has been some infiltration from across the border, Gogoi said his government was taking necessary measures like increasing the number of border outposts, installing floodlights and stepping up patrolling to arrest influx.
He said the government would also hold discussions with experts to plug loopholes in tackling the problem. He also admitted to some lacunae in deporting foreigners.
“After detection, many foreigners simply disappear, taking advantage of these loopholes. If need be, we can come out with a new law,” he said.
Seeking co-operation from the people in dealing with infiltration, Gogoi said people need to be vigilant to detect foreigners. But at the same time, he said no one would be allowed to take the law into their hands.
Action will be taken against the police, too, if they were found to be harassing genuine Indian citizens in the name of detecting foreigners, he added.