12 groups move President - Hindu Bengalis in Assam allege harassment

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  • Published 27.11.10

Guwahati, Nov. 26: Altogether 12 organisations representing the Hindu Bengalis in Assam have moved President Pratibha Patil seeking her intervention to stop the alleged harassment of genuine Indian citizens by the state government in the name of detection and deportation of illegal foreigners.

The co-ordination committee of the Hindu Bengali Organisations of Assam today said it had submitted a memorandum to the President appealing that the Hindu Bengalis of Assam should be identified as “political sufferers of and victims of Partition of the two-nation theory” and should be protected from harassment.

According to them, there are nearly 65 lakh Hindu Bengalis in the state who were separated during Partition.

“Like people at many places across the country, the Hindu Bengalis in Assam were separated during partition and many had taken part in the freedom struggle. But for years, the government has been looking at us with suspicion and many are being harassed by the authorities in the name of detection and deportation of foreigners. We strongly oppose these actions and demand protection,” the chief co-ordinator of the committee, Sanjay Kumar Chakraborty, said at a news conference here today.

The committee said the Centre had provided protection to the Hindu migrants from West Pakistan to the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan by making appropriate legal provisions in 2004 and the state governments in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Tripura and West Bengal were patronising the Hindu migrants but the Assam government was penalising the Hindu Bengali migrants by labelling them “D-voters”.

Foreigners’ notice was served on a Hindu Bengali freedom fighter, Prafulla Chandra Saha, a few years back and chief minister Tarun Gogoi had to apologise for that.

A few days back, a young woman detainee alleged that she was sexually harassed while being taken to Karimganj jail from Goalpara detention camp.

“This is inhuman and violation of human rights,” Chakraborty said.

The committee also said the three detention camps at Goalpara, Kokrajhar and Karimganj (inside jail) lacked proper facilities for women inmates and were subjected to harassment.

The organisation, however, supported the updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam based on the 1971 voter list.