The Telegraph
Friday , November 2 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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AASU dares Gogoi to debate on influx

Guwahati, Nov. 1: The All Assam Students’ Union today dared chief minister Tarun Gogoi to start an open debate on the problem of illegal migration in the state to find concrete ways to solve it.

The student organisation’s challenge came a day after Dispur asked the former to substantiate its allegation that the government’s recently published white paper on the foreigner problem was a “half truth” or a “white lie”.

On Monday, the AASU had come out with a 90-page booklet accusing the governments at Dispur and New Delhi of betraying the state’s people by not implementing the Assam Accord for the last 27 years.

The union also alleged that the government’s white paper had suppressed many important historical facts to mislead the people of Assam.

“Way back in 1931, T.S. Mulan, the then census commissioner of Assam, expressed serious concern over the largescale migration of people from erstwhile East Bengal to Assam for various economic and political reasons. Mulan predicted that if the trend continued, the indigenous people would be reduced to a minority in all other districts barring Sivasagar in Upper Assam. But there is no mention of such an important observation of a British bureaucrat in the white paper,” AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya told reporters during a news conference here today.

Bhattacharyya said if the union’s allegation about the white paper were not true, how had the state government failed to mention the report on the danger of illegal migration from Bangladesh to Assam submitted to then President K.R. Narayanan by former governor Lt Gen. (retd) S.K. Sinha in 1998. “S.K. Sinha, who was a constitutional head of the state, stated in his report to the country’s constitutional head that respective governments were taking a myopic view of the illegal migration problem and could not see the hidden danger.”

He said the white paper also did not mention the outcome of the Prime Minister and chief minister- level meetings on illegal migration held in May 2005.

Bhattacharyya alleged that the government had also suppressed some facts and decisions taken during a meeting between the AASU and Union home ministry in 2010. “In 2005, the Supreme Court, while scrapping the controversial IM (DT) Act, observed that Assam was facing external aggression and internal disturbance on account of largescale migration of Bangladeshi nationals. There is no mention of that important verdict in the white paper.”

Urging the chief minister to understand and respect the revival of the anti-foreigner movement, the AASU leader asked Gogoi to come out from Dispur and start an open debate on the foreigners issue to reach a permanent solution.