Stop chasing imaginery figures of ‘Bangladeshi’ people: Assam minority students body

September 01, 2019 01:15 am | Updated 01:15 am IST - GUWAHATI

The All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) on Saturday said the final National Register of Citizens (NRC), despite its flaws, should make certain groups stop chasing imaginary numbers of ‘Bangladeshi’ people in the State.

This followed the “unhappiness” of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and khilonjia (indigenous) organisations such as the All Assam Students’ Union over the more than 19 lakh people excluded from the final NRC, and their reference to illegal migrants quantified in the past.

“The religious and linguistic minorities have for long endured the Bangladeshi barb. We wanted this to end. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela have given Assam some data through a scientific process for ascertaining who is a foreigner and who is not. It is now time to stop chasing imaginary figures,” AAMSU advisor Azizur Rahman said.

State BJP president Ranjeet K. Dass, hitting out at the Congress for blaming the “erroneous NRC” on the saffron party, cited several figures of foreigners used during the rule of the Congress and other parties.

“Former Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia had told former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi there were 30 lakh foreigners in Assam. Former Congress Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told the Rajya Sabha that Assam has 50 lakh out of 2 crore Bangladeshis in India. The H.D. Deve Gowda government acknowledged the presence of 42 lakh foreigners in Assam. Where are these foreigners now with the NRC today excluding many Indians?” Mr Dass said.

“Identifying citizens cannot be a game of numbers. Those were imaginary figures to create misunderstanding among Assam’s diverse communities for political gains. We have a scientific figure now and should move on after getting together to help the genuine Indians among the excluded be back in the NRC,” Mr Rahman said.

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