Illegal migration: Rajnath to visit Bangladesh border in Assam

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit the Bangladesh border in Assam within this month to take stock of the situation arising out of illegal migration into the northeastern state.

“Within this month, after August 15 and before August 30, I will visit Assam and tour the Bangladesh border to see the situation there,” Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday at a seminar here on “30 years of the Assam accord: Issues, challenges and implementation” organised by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).

An AASU delegation will accompany the home minister on his trip to the border areas.

Rajnath Singh said the government would do everything possible for the full implementation of the Assam Accord that was signed on August 15, 1985, between the Centre, the Assam government, AASU and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad to end a six-year-long movement in protest against illegal migration.

Paying tributes to the martyrs of the Assam agitation, Rajnath Singh said: “I know about all your genuine demands and I can assure you that only Indians will stay in India. We should know what steps should be taken to protect the rights of the indigenous people without leaving any loopholes.”

The home minister said discussions will be held with AASU to find out the shortcomings in the Assam Accord that are stopping its full implementation.

He said work on updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was being done under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court.

“Since I became the home minister last year, I have visited Assam as many as seven times. This is the most visits I have made to any state after my home state of Uttar Pradesh,” Rajnath Singh said, adding that the government was committed to solving all problems of Assam.

Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who is also a former AASU president, said that though the accord will complete 30 years on August 15, many clauses have still not been implemented.

“The main aim of the Assam Accord was to stop illegal migration and safeguard the identity of the indigenous people,” Sonowal said.

“We will not stay silent and I will work for the full implementation of the accord.”

Sonowal requested the home minister to take steps so that illegal migration does not take place in areas like Karimganj in the Barak Valley and Dhubri in the Brahmaputra Valley.

“I request the home minister to visit the border areas with an AASU delegation so that necessary steps can be taken,” he said.

Earlier, in his welcome speech, AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath said it was unfortunate that even after 30 years of the accord, it has not been effectively implemented.

“The gravity of the problem of infiltration has increased, detection and deportation of illegal foreigners never happened in a manner it should haven,” he said.

“The implementation has been taken forward in recent years only on the intervention of the Supreme Court.”

Stating that there was no question of Assam taking the burden of illegal foreigners, he said: “We reiterate our firm view that the foreigners problem must be solved amicably on the basis of the Assam Accord.”

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