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Assam: Gogoi pledges white paper on illegal migration

September 05, 2012 02:15 IST

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday promised to publish a white paper by the first week of October giving details about the steps taken by the government to check the illegal migration from Bangladesh even as a fresh wave of people's agitation against the problem of illegal migrants threatening to gather momentum in the state.

Making the announcement, Gogoi challenged the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the regional Asom Gana Parishad to publish a white paper on what they had done to check the illegal migration from Bangladesh when they were in power in the state and the Centre.

Gogoi informed that the state has completed around 97 per cent fencing works along India-Bangladesh border while states like West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura have managed to complete 80 per cent, 81 percent and 58.70percent respectively.

"The AGP and the BJP raise hue and cry over the issue of illegal immigrants when an election is approaching and as soon as they are elected to power they forget the issue as if illegal migrants have disappeared overnight. Nobody exactly knows as to how many illegal immigrants are there in Assam. There are currently 2.37 lakh cases pending with 36 foreigners' tribunals in the state," Gogoi said.

Gogoi informed, "The state cabinet has already approved of taking up the work for updating the National Register of Citizens and we are pressurising the Centre to give its nod at the earliest. The process for updating the NRC would be streamlined by appointing a retired judge to head a special commission to deal with the issue."

The NRC is being updated as per the decision of the tripartite meeting amongst the state government, central government and All Assam Students' Union held in New Delhi on May 5, 2005.

The NRC is being updated on the basis of 1971 voters list in order to facilitate detection and deportation of illegal migrants from Bangladesh who came to Assam after March, 1971, a commitment made in the Assam Accord of 1985.

Gogoi said, "In order to do away with the shortage of judges we will request for appointing advocates, who are qualified to be judge in the tribunals. The selection of such judges can be done by the high court. As per the new set of guidelines, all the cases before tribunals have to be disposed off within 60 days."

K Anurag in Guwahati