Jamia Millia Islamia Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung and other intellectuals have urged the government to take steps to tackle the presence of illegal Bangladesh migrants in Assam and other parts of the country, a statement said Sunday.
Following a discussion on the recent violence in Assam, the activists said that there was a need to check the rhetoric by political and other groups for early restoration of normalcy in the violence-hit northeastern state.
They said different parts of the country were facing the problem of “labour flow” from Bangladesh and the matter should be taken up with Dhaka, the statement said.
“It is our view that the centre and state governments must assert in no uncertain terms that those migrants who have illegally slipped across the Indo-Bangladesh border to any part of the country since March 25, 1971 – the agreed cut off date – will be tackled under due process or even through a system of special courts,” said the statement.
“This is a problem facing all of India. This primarily represents a labour flow from Bangladesh, and needs also to be raised with Dhaka,” said the statement, based on discussion among the scholars and activists held at the Jamia Millia recently.
Besides Jung, Jamia Millia’s Centre for Northeast Studies director Sanjoy Hazarika, Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Binod Khadria, National Foundation of India’s Monica Banerjee, Centre for Equity Studies’ Harsh Mander and Asian Centre of Human Rights’ Suhas Chakma, said that unverified figures about migration were allegedly being used to whip up suspicions and fear.
The statement said the issue of illegal migration from Bangladesh remained an explosive and unresolved issue 27 years after the Assam accord was signed.
The intellectuals said people in Assam’s relief camps, set up after the recent violence, must be assisted to return home in conditions of dignity.