The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and 29 other organizations representing various indigenous and ethnic communities of Assam on Saturday warned the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in the state against trying to settle Hindu Bangladeshis who had arrived after 1971, and said these groups would not allow any such “conspiracy” to reduce the indigenous communities into a minority.
“The BJP, which came to power by promising to protect the indigenous communities by raising the slogan of jaati-maati-bheti, is now conspiring to reduce these communities of Assam into a minority by settling Hindu Bangladeshis who came after 1971. We will thwart all such attempts,” AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi said at a huge rally held here on Saturday.
AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya on the other hand said the Sarbananda Sonowal government must ensure protection of the interests of the indigenous and ethnic communities against the onslaught of Bangladeshis.
“A Bangladeshi is a Bangladeshi irrespective of his or her religious affiliation. The Assam Accord has clearly stated that only those who came before March 25, 1971 will be accepted. Sonowal must respect and abide by the Assam Accord,” he said. “Assam has taken enough burden of displaced population since the time Partition. It cannot take even one person more now,” the AASU advisor said.
The AASU leaders also demanded exemplary punishment to Subodh Biswas, president of Nikhil Bharat Bengali Udbastu Samanway Samiti (NBBUSS), for allegedly inciting his supporters to attack and vandalize the local AASU office at Silapathar on March 6. Biswas, who had absconded prompting the Assam Police to declare him as “most wanted”, was tracked down and arrested from a village on the Indo-Bangladesh border in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal on March 24.