NEW DELHI, April 27 - A discussion on demands for grant for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) in the Lok Sabha today turned into a slinging match between the BJP and the Opposition over the issue of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh.
The four-hour-long discussion, which was followed by voting, saw DoNER Minister Dr Jitendra Singh respond to the debate. The BJP MPs levelled serious allegations against the Congress party while raking up the issue of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh.
A visibly upset AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal also tried to clarify his party�s stand on the issue and said that AIUDF would have no objection if the illegal migrants who entered the State post-1971 are taken to the border and shot.
Recalling history, Bijoya Chakravarty said that people from Eastern Pakistan were brought and settled in the North East under the �Grow More Food� programme and also used as vote bank. The Congress party was indulging in Ali-Kuli politics. The IM(DT) Act was promulgated to protect the illegal migrants. The protective attitude of the police and civil services further encouraged the illegal infiltrators, she alleged.
Joining issue, Arvind Sawant of Shiv Sena said that there is tension in Assam due to illegal infiltration, and raised questions as to how the illegal infiltrators could cross over in the presence of Border Security Force (BSF). The BSF should be made accountable, he said.
The government, police and BSF know how infiltration is taking place. A time-bound project to seal the border should be implemented, he demanded. �Seal the India-Bangla border on a priority basis,� Sawant demanded.
He also referred to the Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh, stating that Beijing has been building roads and if something happens tomorrow the Indian troops will not be able to reach the border on time, he opined.
The Border Road Organisation should also complete the road projects on a priority basis.
Participating in the discussion, Ajmal said whosoever has come to Assam after 1971, according to Assam Accord, should be treated as foreigner. �Take them to the border and shoot them. But innocent people should not be harassed,� he said.
Referring to reports by several Governors, he said one Governor reported that there was 70 lakh infiltrators, another said there was 50 lakh infiltrators, Ajmal charged.
Claiming that 95 per cent of those declared as �D� voters in Assam have cleared their names, Ajmal said that only the poor have not been able to clear their names.
He said that AGP was in power in Assam for 10 years and during the previous NDA regime, when LK Advani was the Union Home Minister, only 6,724 persons were declared as illegal migrants and of them only 521 were deported. In the AGP�s second term, 912 Bangladeshis could be detected and of them only 102 were sent back, he claimed.
The debate was also joined by Kamakhya Prasad Tassa, RP Sharma, Ramen Deka, Prof Thocksom Meinya, PD Rai, Vincent Pala and Tathagat Satpathi, among others.