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Modi govt in Assam overburdened with providing citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindu immigrants

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Guwahati: The issue of giving citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindu migrants in Assam is creating hindrances for Modi government where elections to the 126-member assembly will be held in two months.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a notice in September last year for leasing minors of Bangladesh and Pakistan who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, can stay in the country without any documents.

According to the Indian Home Ministry, the decision was taken under Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920, and Foreigners Act, 1946.

But the notice is now gathering steam in Assam.

Under the Assam Accord of 1985, anyone who entered from Bangladesh to the state after the midnight of Mar 24, 1971, is considered a foreigner.

Regional political parties such as Asom Gana Parishad, once an ally of the BJP, are opposing the decision of Assam bearing the burden of the migrants. All Assam Students’ Union that spearheaded an anti-foreigners’ agitation from 1979-85 also has the same point of view.

But other organizations like All Assam Bengali Youth Students’ Federation (ABSYF) are building pressure on the Modi government to provide for the citizenship of Bengali Hindu migrants.

The ABSYF has questioned New Delhi to clear the issue and stop ‘playing politics’. Its general secretary, Nirmal Kanti Seal, wondered if the notification on Hindu migrants was just an eyewash.

“The BJP has been promising Indian citizenship for Hindu refugees from Bangladesh but is dragging its feet. In reality, Bengali Hindus staying in Assam are victimised as D-voters,” Seal said.

The ‘D’ in D-voters stands for ‘doubtful’.

Congress, which ruled Assam for 15 years, is also using the notification issue as a major political repellent. The Congress said the notification of joining migrants with Sikhism, Christianity, Hinduism and other religions as a “meaningless document’’.

Ripun Bora, vice-president of the Assam Congress unit, said given that citizenship was the choice of the central government in New Delhi.

“The state has no responsibility in this regard. The Modi government is misleading the people with such a notification that is nothing with the constitutional amendment,” Bora said.

“It is a ploy for garnering votes.”

The Congress leader said his party is not against granting citizenship to Bengali Hindus to have escaped religious harassment in Bangladesh.

“All minorities who have been forced to come to India should be granted citizenship, but Assam alone will not take the burden,” he said.

Bijay Gupta, the BJP general secretary of Assam said the notification allows the migrants to stay until the Indian government takes a final decision on giving citizenship.

“There will be no problem in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) regarding the constitutional amendment, but it could get stalled in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) where the BJP does not have majority,” Gupta said.

He also considered it as a decision of law court which government sets up periodically on the issue of detection of foreigners in Assam. (Inputs from bdnews24.com)

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  • Dinesh Dutta

    If somebody is Hindu regardless of which country he/she belongs, Indian citizenship should be given.

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Waves of black as Modi visits Chennai

Tamil Nadu has been in turmoil since the six-week period for setting up the Board expired, with opposition parties and a host of fringe Tamil groups attacking the Centre

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi (FILE PHOTO)

Black flags and balloons and activists in black shirts and trousers greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he paid a whirlwind visit to Chennai with helicopter as the chosen mode of transport in the wake of statewide agitation demanding constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

Protests were also held with black flags and placards throughout Tamil Nadu in cities like Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Coimbatore and Tuticorin against the Prime Minister’s brief visit to the state and the Centre’s failure to constitute the CMB despite a Supreme Court order. Black flags were hoisted on homes and business establishments across the state.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Narendra Modi welcomed with black flags in chennai.

In a bid to avoid protesters, Modi, who arrived here by a special aircraft in the morning, chose a helicopter to reach Tiruvidanthai, in neighbouring Kanchipuram district where he opened the 10th DefExpo organised by the Defence Ministry. From there he took another chopper to come to IIT Madras, in the heart of the city. From there, he took a one-kilometre ride by car to the neighbouring Adyar Cancer Institute for an event.

The Prime Minister walked a few steps from the helicopter to the car that ferried him to the Cancer Institute. As he did so, he encountered some 30 students from IIT Madras who stood silently but held posters demanding a Cauvery Management Board as ordered by the Supreme Court — an issue which has whipped up emotions in Tamil Nadu. Modi then left by helicopter to the airport before returning to Delhi.

Also Read: Modi is anti-Dalit, will defeat BJP in 2019: Rahul Gandhi

#Go back Modi trended on top as netizens took to the cyberspace to register their protest against the Central government’s failure to set up the CMB as directed by the Supreme Court to ensure proper sharing of Cauvery waters between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and other states.

DMK leader M.K. Stalin, who was on a padayatra of the Cauvery delta areas, wore black shirt and trousers as he protested along with state Congress President Thirunavukkarasar and CPI-M state unit chief Mutharasan. “The Prime Minister may be flying in the air today but he has to come down when the elections come,” he said taking a dig at Modi.

A black flag was hoisted at DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s residence. The ailing leader wore a black shirt. DMK MP Tiruchi Siva and leaders of DMK allies wore black dress and marched on the road near the Chennai airport.

In the morning outside the Chennai airport, activists of the Federation for protection of Tamil Art and Culture, led by noted film director Bharatiraja and other film personalities like Amir, Gautaman and Vetrimaran protested against Modi’s visit. They were arrested.

will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons
Cauvery River Dispute is going on for a while now. Wikimedia Commons

While MDMK chief Vaiko held a black flag protest in Velachery, Naam Thamizhar Katch convenor Seeman, a film director, was arrested elsewhere. Vaiko called Modi a “coward” for choosing to fly. Political leaders Velmurugan and P. Nedumaran were arrested from Alandur metro station in Chennai for holding black flag protests.

Tamil Nadu has been in turmoil since the six-week period for setting up the Board expired, with opposition parties and a host of fringe Tamil groups attacking the Centre, saying the BJP was interested only in winning the Assembly elections in Karnataka. Even the hugely-popular IPL cricket matches have been shifted out of Chennai to Pune in view of the disturbances on Tuesday. IANS