GUWAHATI, June 5 � Union Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has requested Home Minister Rajnath Singh to visit the international border areas in Assam to assess the situation on the ground and to take effective steps to seal the border.
BJP sources said that Sonowal handed over a formal letter to Singh on behalf of the State unit of the BJP in the last meeting of the Council of Ministers. Sources added that Sonowal, who is also the president of the State unit of the BJP, said in the letter that for years, no effective step was taken to seal the international border with Bangladesh to check infiltration of foreigners to Assam. He said that the Home Minister should visit the international border areas to assess the situation and take effective steps to prevent further infiltration.
Sources said that as the Union Home Ministry is the nodal Ministry for implementation of the Assam Accord, Sonowal requested Singh to look into the matter of slow progress of implementation of the Accord, and said that the Home Ministry should expedite the process of implementing all the clauses of the Accord.
The Central government has already entrusted the State government with the responsibility of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) but the progress remained very slow. Sonowal has requested the Union Home Minister to monitor the progress to ensure the NRC is updated within a specific time frame.
Sonowal further requested the Home Minister to ensure that the Supreme Court directive on disposal of the cases pending before the Foreigners� Tribunals be expedited.
The Supreme Court, while scrapping the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, directed that adequate number of Tribunals should be set up under the provisions of the Foreigners� Act to ensure speedy disposal of cases. It may be mentioned here that more than 3 lakh cases are pending before the Foreigners� Tribunals and some cases are pending for decades.
Sources further said that Sonowal raised the issue of unabated killing of rhinos in the Kaziranga National Park with the Union Forest Minister. He requested the Minister to visit Kaziranga to assess the situation so that the Centre can take effective steps to deal with the situation as the State government has miserably failed to prevent killing of rhinos by poachers.