Illegal Bangladeshi Jihadi’s on rampage in Assam

published on July 21, 2010

Non-citizens on rampage in Assam

Sanat K Chakraborty | Guwahati
– Daily Pioneer

At least four persons were killed and scores injured, some of them critically, in police firing following a skirmish between police and supporters of the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) on Wednesday at Barpeta town in lower Assam, about 220 km northwest of the State capital.

The AAMSU has been demanding rectification in the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) as per the provisions of the Assam Accord that has provided 25 March 1971 as the cut-off date for claiming citizenship.

The pilot project was launched in response to growing demand for updating the NRC in Assam to ensure that illegal migrants were weeded out.

Wednesday’s violence is being seen as an attempt by illegal migrants, mostly Bangladeshi, to assert themselves, an official said. Sources said violence broke out when thousands of protesters led by AAMSU marched towards the deputy commissioner’s office to submit a memorandum, seeking review of the ongoing pilot project for revision of the NRC.

They wanted the deputy commissioner to accept their representation. However, a section of the mob turned violent when he turned down their request.

Police said the mob went on rampage, pelting stones at policemen and damaging Government vehicles. The police used batons to disperse the crowd, but failed to contain the fury that eventually forced the police to open fire.

Two protesters died on the spot and two others succumbed to injuries on way to hospital. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital and some of the critically wounded persons were brought to Guwahati Medical College Hospital.

The incident struck panic in the town, as all shops and markets were closed. The district administration has clamped probationary orders in the town.

The AAMSU has called for a 12-hour Assam bandh in protest against the police action and held the district administration responsible for the violence.

“The police could have fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. Instead, they resorted to firing on the crowd,” said AAMSU president Abdur Rahim Ahmed.

He said AAMSU was not opposed to updating the NRC. “We were all for the NRC to be prepared on the basis of 25 March 1971 cut-off as per the Assam Accord,” Ahmed said. However, he added the Government was taking 1951 as the base year for considering citizenship, which “is totally unacceptable”.  

The Centre had recently initiated a pilot project for updating the National Register of Citizens in two circles — Chaygaon and Barpeta town — of Assam.

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