GUWAHATI, July 7 - In the Indian state of Assam, human rights of the indigenous peoples are under attack because of the failure of the government to manage properly the issue of illegal migration. This was the view expressed by Banya Baruah, daughter of ULFA leader Golap Baruah alias Anup Chetia at the 38th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at Geneva on Wednesday.
The written version of her speech at the UNHRC has been made available to this newspaper by Golap Baruah here today.
Banya linked the issue with the failure of the government to follow the deadlines in updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was fixed by the Supreme Court of India.
Repeated extension of the deadline has created unrest among the indigenous peoples of Assam, who feel the delay reflects the government�s half-hearted attempts at solving their problems, she said. She also urged the UN forum to guide the Government of India to hasten the process of NRC update in Assam.
She rued the fact that even as illegal immigration is threatening the existence of indigenous groups of people in Assam, there is a debate over how religious minorities and other minority communities of different national origins are getting targeted as illegal immigrants. This debate is malicious in nature and �it transfers the responsibility to wrong shoulders.�
The rights of all individuals needs to be protected irrespective of nationality, but at whose cost, she wondered. �Is it the responsibility of indigenous, marginalized community to protect the rights of religious and national minorities? Definitely not,� she asserted, saying, it was the primary responsibility of the state.