GUWAHATI, Sept 18 - The Prabajan Virodhi Manch (PVM), a forum fighting against the infiltration problem of Assam, today slammed the State government for the proposed recruitment drive of gaonburhas (village headmen) in different districts. It demanded that the drive be carried out only after publication of the final NRC as there is the possibility illegal migrants getting selected.
In the meantime, the PVM also alleged that the State government�s initiative to recruit gaonburhas and provide civic facilities to encroachers is nothing but a proof of its lack of willingness to protect the indigenous people.
�The State government is going ahead with recruitment of gaonburhas in different districts of Assam. Even in respect of Dhubri, where a large number of discrepancies in the NRC process have come to light with names of declared and suspected foreigners being included in the NRC, the administration is proceeding with the appointment of gaonburhas even before the NRC final list has been published,� a statement issued by the PVM said.
Criticising the BJP-led State government for not taking any initiative to protect the interest of the indigenous people, the statement said, �The Manipur State Assembly on July 23 enacted a legislation reserving land, government benefits, employment, etc., only for those who were citizens of India in 1951 and their progeny. On the other hand, recent events in Assam demonstrate that regardless of the NRC outcome, indigenous people can be saved from becoming a minority only if a similar legislation is enacted by the Assam Assembly. But the Assam government is leaving no stone unturned to appease the Bangladeshis.�
The PVM also alleged that at Fuhuratoli in Darrang district, a professional grazing reserve officially stated to be under encroachment and where permanent settlement is prohibited under the law, the government is building roads for encroachers who are required to be evicted.
�It is learnt that the district administration is proceeding with building houses under PMAY for these encroachers. It is corruption of votes and money which sustains the politicians, bureaucrats and protects the Bangladeshis,� the statement added.
PVM convener and Supreme Court advocate Upamanyu Hazarika said, �Manipur government is a BJP government which has undertaken these protective measures to safeguard the indigenous people from Bangladeshi infiltration as they are becoming a minority. In Manipur the cut-off date for grant of citizenship is July 19, 1948. Even this has not saved them from Bangladeshi influx and they have done it (enacted the legislation) even without carrying out an NRC updating exercise. If a BJP government in Manipur can come forth with such a protective legislation why can�t the Assam government do it?�
Hazarika also asserted that only withdrawal of the Citizenship Amendment Bill or exempting Assam from its purview will not be sufficient to protect the indigenous people from becoming a minority. It can be done only through a protective legislation.