|Fake Stories of Bangladeshis Intruding Into India
--Mohammad Zainal Abedin
It is observed that it has become a fashion for some of the Indian politians and columnists to make allegation of illegal immigration of Bangladesh nationals into the northeastern states of India in general and Assam in particular. Recently the Assam Gvernor alleged that about 6000 Bangladesh nationals enter Assam everyday. The effort was made to divert the attention of the exploited and deprived people of Assam to such an issue ' foreigners' which is popular to the ethnic Assamese. Some in the media also jumped on the issue.
How a state Governor could blame a neghbouring country in such an indecent and irresponsible way . Why didn't the Indian intelligence and security forces that beset the state could detain the Bangladeshis? According his statistics 1,80,000 Bangladeshis enter Assam every month and in a year the figure will stand at 12, 96,000. According to the census of 2001, the total population of Assam was 2,66,55,528. Among them, according Indian media, the Muslims constitute 30 per cent of the total population of the state. If so, their number now should be around 79,96,659. If one year's intrusion is added, the present number of the Muslims should reach at 92, 56,659. According to the census of 1991 Muslims were 63, 73,204.
Indian government and its media now point their fingers at the Muslims when they refer to the term 'infiltrators' in India, though there prevails strong
anti-infiltrator sentiment and campaign in all the states of northeast. Muslims were about 40% when Assam was merged with India in 1947. Their sizeable presence was in existence even before the advent of the British. Muslims were never infiltrators in Assam.
The Muslims of today in Assam are not immigrant or outsiders, rather most of them are the sons of the soil. After fall of Gurgobinda in the 14th century, many Ahom people adjoining Sylhet converted to Islam. During the British period, thousand of Bengali speaking Muslims were brought to and settled in Assam to bring arable lands under cultivation.
The descendants of these Muslims now form 30% of the total population of
Assam. These descendants of those Bengali speaking Muslims forgot their language and culture, but not their religion. This new generation Muslims of Assam feel pride to identify themselves Ahoms, treat Assam as their motherland, use Ahomiya language in their daily life, send their children to schools where Ahomiya is the medium of instruction. Other than their religious activities they are hundred per cent Ahoms.
They cannot be branded as foreigners or Bangladeshis. So it is itself illegal and unjustified and mere violation of human rights to brand and harass the
Muslims in Assam as illegal , outsiders or infiltrators.
Moreover it is impossible fo the Bangladeshis to enter Assam is such a massive way. Entrance of six thousand Bangladeshis daily means Assam border is opened for all. But the reality is just opposite. An Indian columnist Ajay Suri reported: After Kashmir, the Northeast India has the maximum concentration of intelligence personnel.
Apart from Military Intelligence, BSF's own G-branch (its intelligence wing) is active in the region. Also, more than 500 Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials are stationed permanently here, and the Research & Analysis wing (RAW) has its men even in Bangladesh( http://www.indianexpress.com/ie20010420/nat23.html).
On the other hand, Assam is one of the most densely soldiered regions in the world. It is really difficult to mention the accurate figure of security agencies that are deployed in Assam. India, to avert the hue and cry in home and abroad, intentionally keep this information secret.
According to press reports, at least, one lakh soldiers of Indian Army are deployed in Assam. Six battalions of BSF, 10 battalions of CRP, five companies of the Punjab Police Commandos, one battalion of State Rifles have been deployed in the state. The number of other forces cannot be ascertained. One can have an easy idea how much of them are there, if one looks into so many security agencies besides the armed forces in India. Just look at their names and figures( Ministry of Home Affairs, http://mha.nic.in):
BSF: Organisation - total 157 battalions
Artillery - 7 BSF Artillery Regiments
10 Frontier Headquarters
3 Maintenance Groups
9 Range Headquarters
Indo-Tibetan Border Police:
29 battalions (4 specialist Battalions)
over 35,569 personnel
Other Paramilitary Forces:
Special Frontier Force
Central Reserve Police Force
Research and Analysis Wing
Joint Intelligence Committee
Aviation Research Centre (ARC)