Manch challenges no-influx claim by BJP, cites UPA and NDA data

Forum Against Infiltration says influx from Bangladesh continuing despite BJP’s claim

By Avishek Sengupta and Rajiv Konwar in Guwahati
  • Published 12.01.19, 12:21 AM
  • Updated 12.01.19, 12:21 AM
  • 2 mins read
Tarun Gogoi: No victims of religious prosecution petitioned him for refuge when he was chief minister Picture by UB Photos

Prabajan Virodhi Manch, a forum against infiltration, on Friday cited official reports to prove that influx from neighbouring Bangladesh was continuing, to rebut the BJP’s claim of no infiltration in the past 10 years.

Assam BJP spokesperson Swapnanil Baruah on Thursday said there has not been any influx in the past decade as most of the Bangladeshi migrants emigrate to Gulf and western countries.

Manch convener Upamanyu Hazarika said, “Today, they (BJP) even deny there has been any infiltration when their own central ministers and the central government speak otherwise. Caught unawares by the huge public outcry against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the state BJP is saying anything and everything in panic. To deny the very fact of infiltration means they are going to do nothing about it.”

He cited the report compiled by the UPA government on July 14, 2004, that revealed there are 1.2 crore illegal migrants, of whom 50 lakh entered Assam. Another report released by Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju on November 16, 2016, said two crore infiltrators had entered India, of whom 80 lakh are in Assam.

“The rise in the number of illegal migrants by 30 lakh in a mere 12 years clearly shows that unabated influx is going on. This is also reflected in the increase of the minority population in Assam from 30.9 per cent in 2001 to 34.22 per cent in 2011,” Hazarika said.

On the other hand, former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said he did not receive a single application from anyone who entered the state from neighbouring countries because of religious persecution during his 15-year tenure.

Gogoi said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told him during a telephonic conversation on Wednesday that there was no persecution of religious minorities in her country.

He asked whether there was any need for the bill if there was no influx in the past 10 years as claimed by state BJP spokesperson Baruah. Gogoi said he would violate prohibitory orders if the bill is not withdrawn.

The Centre is likely to table the bill in the budget session of Parliament beginning January 31. Gogoi said the Congress would resist the bill fiercely in the budget session.

Gogoi said insurgency may increase in the state if the situation continues to be volatile because of the bill protests. “The state is on the boil and the law-and-order situation has deteriorated because of the bill,” he said.