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No registration record of bulk of 1966-71 migrants

By SANJOY RAY
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GUWAHATI, Aug 24 - In an oddity that is sure to have multiple ramifications vis-�-vis the State�s policy against Bangladeshi migrants, nearly 60 per cent of the Bangladeshi nationals who had settled in Assam (India) between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 have not registered themselves with the Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRROs), a provision mandated by the law of the land.

The rule says that anyone who had entered the State before 1971 but after 1966 and has been detected as foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunals, would have to get himself or herself registered with the FRROs within 180 days, failing which the person concerned should be taken into custody and deported.

Further, such individuals will be disenfranchised and it is only after that the expiry of the stipulated 10 years period that he or she would be entitled to voting rights.

Contrary to this, however, the State machinery is still clueless about more than half of the 1966-71 stream population, which, many fear, might still be enjoying their franchise in complete violation of the law of the land.

Records suggest that of the nearly 40,000 foreigners who entered India between 1966 and 1971, only 14,843 of them have so far registered themselves with the respective FRROs, while over 19,000 of them continues to defy the laid down norms.

�We still do not know whether these people are still enjoying the voting rights as they had not registered with the FRROs,� official sources told this reporter.

Adding to the woes is the fact that only eight out of the nearly 19,000 such people, who entered between the specified period, were arrested by the police.

The Election department, too, does not have centrally complied statistics to throw light on the existing scenario.

When contacted, the Election department expressed its inability to provide figures as to how many names of voters belonging to the stream (1966 and 1971) have been struck out from the voters list for 10 years.

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No registration record of bulk of 1966-71 migrants

GUWAHATI, Aug 24 - In an oddity that is sure to have multiple ramifications vis-�-vis the State�s policy against Bangladeshi migrants, nearly 60 per cent of the Bangladeshi nationals who had settled in Assam (India) between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 have not registered themselves with the Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRROs), a provision mandated by the law of the land.

The rule says that anyone who had entered the State before 1971 but after 1966 and has been detected as foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunals, would have to get himself or herself registered with the FRROs within 180 days, failing which the person concerned should be taken into custody and deported.

Further, such individuals will be disenfranchised and it is only after that the expiry of the stipulated 10 years period that he or she would be entitled to voting rights.

Contrary to this, however, the State machinery is still clueless about more than half of the 1966-71 stream population, which, many fear, might still be enjoying their franchise in complete violation of the law of the land.

Records suggest that of the nearly 40,000 foreigners who entered India between 1966 and 1971, only 14,843 of them have so far registered themselves with the respective FRROs, while over 19,000 of them continues to defy the laid down norms.

�We still do not know whether these people are still enjoying the voting rights as they had not registered with the FRROs,� official sources told this reporter.

Adding to the woes is the fact that only eight out of the nearly 19,000 such people, who entered between the specified period, were arrested by the police.

The Election department, too, does not have centrally complied statistics to throw light on the existing scenario.

When contacted, the Election department expressed its inability to provide figures as to how many names of voters belonging to the stream (1966 and 1971) have been struck out from the voters list for 10 years.

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