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We condemn Assam minister’s statement

Published : Wednesday, 4 September, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 359

We condemn Assam minister’s statement

We condemn Assam minister’s statement

Following the publication of National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Assam finance minister stated that he will ask 'friend' Bangladesh to take them - Indian citizens back.

First of all, why should Bangladesh burden the responsibility of over a million so called foreigners residing in Indian soil? And his usage of the term of friend is somewhat questionable.

The minister's statement is an absolute mockery devoid of reality and sincerity. Moreover, it belittles our national pride as a responsible nation. Although it is not an official statement, it delivers a negative message and a possible dangerous move of the Indian government on this issue since, in the final phase, the people excluded from NRC list will be considered as intruders and foreigners.

The NRC is a list of people who can prove they came to the state by 24 March 1971. Indian central government mentioned NRC is needed to identify illegal Bangladeshi migrants while refusing citizenship of 1.9 million people. But what will happen to the people excluded in NRC is uncertain since the government doesn't have any specific policy regarding them. The higher possibility is that they might be forced to leave and push towards our northern borders inside Bangladesh.

However, Assam residents have to show documents--prior to 24th March 1971--before the Foreigners Tribunals to prove themselves not intruders. This requirement put unfair and unjust burden to the residents to prove that they have right to live there. Many families are unable to show required documents just because of poor record keeping or illiteracy.

It is worth mentioning that, the Foreigner Tribunals has been criticized because of its controversial, self-contradictory, opaque, inconsistent and biased activities while Amnesty International has described the courts as 'shoddy and lackadaisical'. The process has also sparked criticism in India being compared to 'witch hunt' against Assam's ethnic minorities.
Eventually, Bangladesh has denied anyone left the country to settle in India after the 1971 Liberation War. Bangladesh's stand is very clear on this issue which has reflected in the statement of our home minister. He clearly stated - "Bangladesh has nothing to do with NRC.... It is India's internal mater.... Let India inform us officially, then we will respond".

If India proceeds in this way it will create a community of stateless people within India, triggering a home-grown crisis like the Rohingyas in Myanmar. We, as a peace loving nation, want peaceful settlement of India's politically motivated manmade crisis. If it is unable to solve the problem peacefully, it will give birth to another humanitarian crisis in the region.

Last of all, we request Indian politicians and public representatives to be prudent, in terms of, involving Bangladesh's role and responsibility in their domestic affairs.

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