With the debate on Assam violence being taken up in Lok Sabha, veteran BJP leader LK Advani has said that the state of Assam is critical to India’s security and neglecting it is a great folly. Stating that illegal immigration by Bangladeshi infiltrators was the primary cause of the violence, Advani said that “people in Assam feel that if this would’ve happened in any other part of the nation, stringent measures would’ve been taken”. He also highlighted the need to identify the foreigners in Assam.
“Who should take responsibility of the Assam violence? The centre. I am grateful that the PM is here. We can discuss on the issue. Assam is critical to India’s security, to neglect it is a great folly,” he said adding that the number of people who have been displaced are unprecedented and that if appropriate action was not taken immediately, the same situations could erupt again.
“Assam clashes not a case of ethnic violence: The violence is between Bodos and non-bodos. We have to find out who are the Indians and who are not. General sentiment in Assam, foreigners taking over our lands, this is a serious problem,” he said, stating that the issue of illegal migrants came to light first in 1980 with the ‘Students agitation in Assam’.
“Go to the people and ask what they think of the government. I believe UPA-2 is illegitimate,” said Advani, which evoked angry reactions from Congress President Sonia Gandhi. “If an Indian is displaced, then the government is answerable. On the other hand, if a foreigner is killed on Indian soil, perpetrators cannot be pardoned. I believe the situation emanating from illegal immigration from Bangladesh is a serious issue, and the central government is more responsible than state government.”
Advani elaborated on how the Supreme Court had earlier warned the central government on the issue of ‘Illegal Migrants Determination by Tribunal or IMDT Act’, reiterating that the Foreigners Act must be implemented. However, the government decided that order issued in 1964 will not be implemented in Assam. “The Supreme Court had to intervene within one year in 2006 – said the government wanted to undo their order. In 2006, Supreme Court said the authorities have chosen to make the order inapplicable and that there was a lack of will to send out illegal immigrants. It ordered the government to implement within a period of four months from this date ( Dec 5, 2006). I cannot think of a greater failure of the central government than this. Not following the Supreme Court order has resulted in a grave security threat for this country.”
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