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Centre takes steps to monitor illegal immigration in Assam

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New Delhi: The government has taken a number of steps to check illegal migration into Assam from Bangladesh, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Photo credit: IANS
Photo credit: IANS

“There are reports that some Bangladeshi nationals are able to manage to enter Assam and other parts of the country illegally despite several checks and control measures taken along the international border,” Rijiju stated in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

He said to maintain national security, the central government had already taken a number of steps including strengthening of the Border Security Force and equipping it with modern and sophisticated equipment.

According to the minister, gaps between the border outposts have been reduced and patrolling along the international boundary intensified.

Rijiju said construction of border roads and fencing has been accelerated and surveillance equipment provided.

“Besides, the issues of illegal migrants from Bangladesh is regularly taken up at various forums and steps have been taken for coordinated patrolling, identification of vulnerable gaps, strengthening of riverine patrolling etc,” he said.

He said India has also urged Bangladesh to take effective steps to check the illegal movement of its nationals into India, especially through vulnerable and riverine areas.

The minister pointed out that the powers of identification and deportation of foreign nationals staying illegally, including Bangladeshi nationals, have been delegated to the state governments and union territories’ administrations under the Foreigners Act, 1946.

“The government has set up 36 foreigners tribunals in the state of Assam for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants,” he said.

An additional 64 foreigners tribunals were sanctioned in June, 2013, for Assam for speedier disposal of pending cases.

“An action plan for detection and deportation of the illegal migrants in Assam is also prepared and the government of Assam has formed 500 state police units for detection of illegal immigrants in Assam,” Rijiju said.

(IANS)

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Tea Body of Assam Slam ‘Chaiwala’ Modi

The tea labourers of Assam live in the most deplorable conditions without some of the basic amenities, Gowala said

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Assam tea body slam 'chaiwala' Modi,

The largest tea body of Assam on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who often refer to himself as a “chaiwala”, for not being considerate towards the state’s tea garden workers’ plight and urged him to implement the promised minimum wage of Rs 350 before the new year starts.

The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) General Secretary Rupesh Gowala said while Modi often refers to himself as a “chaiwala”, he is yet make good on his promises towards a million tea garden labourers in the state in the last four years.

“Before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, Modi addressed several rallies in Assam and assured that the tea garden labourers would be paid a minimum wage of Rs 350 per day,” Gowala said.

“If this happens, the 10,00,000 tea garden labourers will lose Rs 30 each day for two months. Is it a “chaiwala” Prime Minister who is doing this to his own community?” said Gowala.

The tea garden workers in Brahmaputra Valley in Assam are presently drawing Rs 167 per day while the tea garden workers in Barak Valley are getting Rs 145 per day.

“The existing wage agreement between the Assam government and the ACMS and other tea workers bodies expired on December 31, 2017.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi (Wikimedia Commons)

“The government had announced an interim hike of Rs 30 per day. The tea garden labourers are supposed to get this interim hike from January 1, 2018, but the government is saying the hike will apply from March 1, 2018.

“This would make them lose Rs 30 per day for two months,” he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Assam is yet to fix that minimum wage, Gowala said, urging Modi to announce the promised Rs 350 per day minimum wage before 2019.

Gowala said the condition of all those tea gardens run by the Assam government was far worse.

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“While the labourers in company-owned garden are receiving a wage of Rs. 167 per day now, the 26,000 workers under the 14 gardens of state-owned Assam Tea Company Limited (ATCL) are receiving a wage of Rs 115 only per day,” he said.

Assam has over 800 medium and large size tea gardens that produces over 50 per cent of the country’s total tea produce.

The tea labourers of Assam live in the most deplorable conditions without some of the basic amenities, Gowala said. (IANS)