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Pincer attack on D-voters

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  • Published 26.03.12

Guwahati, March 25: Assam Accord implementation minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said the government would constitute a committee to specially look into the issue of Bengali Hindu “D” (doubtful) voters living in the state.

Sarma, who is the also the Assam government spokesperson, said the same would be discussed during the monsoon session of the Assam Assembly, scheduled to be held in May or June. He said the government would ensure that police harassed no Bengali Hindu in the name of being D-voters.

The minister was speaking at a rally organised by the Assam state unit of Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samannoy Samiti at the Sonaram School ground here today, to raise strong protest against alleged harassment of Bengali Hindus in the name detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshis.

The samiti’s publicity secretary, Sudip Sarma, said there were about 6 lakh Bengali Hindu D-voters, and added that the samiti had demanded that the government must give citizenship instead of refugee status to those Hindu Bengalis who came to Assam from erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.

On the other hand, the All Assam Minorities Students’ Union and 25 other minority organisations today asked Dispur to constitute fast track or mobile courts in different blocks in the state to dispose of the lakhs of D-voter cases currently pending in various foreigners tribunals. They said out of 32 tribunals in the state, only 16 were functioning currently.

“Going at the present speed, it will take more than 100 years to dispose of the D-voter cases. So, we demand setting up of fast track or mobile courts so that the cases could be disposed of within six months,” AAMSU president Abdur Rahim Ahmed said.

He said the AAMSU and other 25 organisations, including the Jamiat headed by Abdul Zalil Ragbi, Bengali Federation, Milli Council, Char Chapori Sahitya Parishad and All BTC Minorities Students’ Union, have resolved to jointly demand that March 24, 1971, should be set as the cut-off date while preparing a fresh National Register of Citizens (NRC).

He said during a meeting held in the city all organisations had agreed that the 1951 NRC should not be taken into consideration while preparing the fresh NRC, as the document was not available in all districts. “We have also demanded that those D-voters, whose names were found in voter lists prior to 1971, must be included in the fresh NRC. It was made clear that the organisations will not tolerate it if the cabinet sub-committee on NRC submits its final report to chief minister Tarun Gogoi on dictates of AASU. If we find that AAMSU’s recommendations to the committee are not included, the union will be forced to launch a movement in coming days,” Ahmed said.

He said the organisations that met today would convey their resolutions shortly to the chief minister and the Assam Accord implementation minister.