Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) South Assam Zone has called upon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bring to an end “undue harassment of the Bengali-speaking Muslims.”
In a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister on August 18, the JIH South Zone president Mohammad Ahmed Ali asserted the Constitutional right of a citizen of India to live temporarily or permanently in any part of the country and adopt the profession of his/her choice.
Presenting a picture of Bengali-speaking Muslims in North-East India, the memorandum said, “The Bengali-speaking Muslims from the South Assam called Barak Valley as well as from the economically most backward ravine areas of North Assam and other places of the State either migrated for permanent settlement as per rules or temporarily settled down at different places of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram with Inner Line Permits and engaged themselves in their respective choice of profession. Similarly in the plains like Bodoland and autonomous area also a good number of such native Muslims (neo-Assamese) have been living and earning their livelihood and contributing a lot to the economic development of the State for a long time, from the days of the British.”
The memorandum lamented that unfortunately the issue of so-called infiltration of Bangladeshis into this part of the country “with alleged devious intention of increasing Muslim population and thus converting it into an Islamic State” is raised and the poor Bengali-speaking Muslims are witch-hunted for all kinds of harassment including uprooting from their homes and hearths and making them jobless.
It called the so-called Bangladeshi infiltration “a funny conjecture,” “baseless cry,” “out and out a myth,” and “result of politics of hatred and prejudice.”
The memorandum further said, “Dangerous steps are being taken by some of the governments concerned. For example, the DC of Mokorchang district of Nagaland is reportedly demanding from the Muslims driven out of there to produce photographs of three generations for obtaining Inner Line Permit. In this respect letters have been sent to the DCs of Barak Valley districts. The District Collector of Karimgonj has already received one such letter. This has been done knowing fully well that fulfilment of such a demand is next to impossible because almost all these people are either illiterate or half-literate whose forefathers did not leave behind them any photograph of theirs. It means that these people would not get Inner Line Permit as a result of which they wouldn’t be able to go back to their places of settlement/work. There is every possibility of infliction of further harassment upon them like arrest, imprisonment and even deportation from the country. And all this may be done against the repeated statements of the Chief Minister of Assam that all the victims are natives of Assam and not Bangladeshis.”
The memorandum urged the Prime Minister to issue orders for proper rehabilitation of such displaced persons, for judicial enquiry into the incidences and for compensation of the loss they have suffered.