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US anticipated influx threat to Assam long back

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, Feb 6 - The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States of America had anticipated largescale immigration from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) into Assam nearly 50 years back and warned that there was a possibility of communal riots in the State.

Some of the reports of the CIA have been declassified by the Government of USA and in one such report on �India�s Troubled Eastern Region�, which was sent on July 26, 1968, the agency had reported about migration from East Pakistan.

The report said that large scale migration from East Pakistan was a cause of concern, and among all the States of the country, Assam witnessed highest population increase during the period from 1951 to 1961. The report said that the migrants brought heavy competition for Assam�s scarce jobs. But the more serious problem is protection of tribal land, particularly in the plains of the State. Some tribal people also illegally sold off their land to the migrants.

The CIA went on to warn about the possibility of Hindu-Muslim riots in Assam and said that the Muslim population in the State was around 25 percent at that time. It may be mentioned here that as per the 2011 census, the Muslim population increased to 34.26 percent.

The CIA further reported tension between the locals and outsiders in Assam. The report said that there were unrest between the �longtime resident Assamese and more recent immigrants, who dominated the economy and were the main beneficiaries of the economic opportunities afforded by India�s development efforts in Assam�. The report further said that on the Republic Day that year, some businessmen, who were immigrants from Rajasthan, were targeted in some parts of the State.

The warning given by the American intelligence agency proved to be correct as since 1983, Assam witnessed a series of communal clashes, while illegal migration from Bangladesh remains a major cause of concern till today. Some anti-national elements have also been trying to take advantage of the riots to achieve their own goals as after the communal riots in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District (BTAD) area in 2012, jehadi groups have been trying to establish roots in the State and a number of activists of the Jamaat-ul-Mujaheedin, Bangladesh (JMB) have been arrested from different parts of Lower Assam districts. Though the arrest of JMB activists prevented the outfit from establishing strong roots in the State, intelligence inputs indicate that the jehadi elements still consider Assam as a fertile ground for establishing strong roots.

After the riots in 2012, leaders of several jehadi groups mentioned about the riots in their speeches, while such groups also mentioned about the riots in their propaganda material released through the internet.

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US anticipated influx threat to Assam long back

GUWAHATI, Feb 6 - The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States of America had anticipated largescale immigration from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) into Assam nearly 50 years back and warned that there was a possibility of communal riots in the State.

Some of the reports of the CIA have been declassified by the Government of USA and in one such report on �India�s Troubled Eastern Region�, which was sent on July 26, 1968, the agency had reported about migration from East Pakistan.

The report said that large scale migration from East Pakistan was a cause of concern, and among all the States of the country, Assam witnessed highest population increase during the period from 1951 to 1961. The report said that the migrants brought heavy competition for Assam�s scarce jobs. But the more serious problem is protection of tribal land, particularly in the plains of the State. Some tribal people also illegally sold off their land to the migrants.

The CIA went on to warn about the possibility of Hindu-Muslim riots in Assam and said that the Muslim population in the State was around 25 percent at that time. It may be mentioned here that as per the 2011 census, the Muslim population increased to 34.26 percent.

The CIA further reported tension between the locals and outsiders in Assam. The report said that there were unrest between the �longtime resident Assamese and more recent immigrants, who dominated the economy and were the main beneficiaries of the economic opportunities afforded by India�s development efforts in Assam�. The report further said that on the Republic Day that year, some businessmen, who were immigrants from Rajasthan, were targeted in some parts of the State.

The warning given by the American intelligence agency proved to be correct as since 1983, Assam witnessed a series of communal clashes, while illegal migration from Bangladesh remains a major cause of concern till today. Some anti-national elements have also been trying to take advantage of the riots to achieve their own goals as after the communal riots in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District (BTAD) area in 2012, jehadi groups have been trying to establish roots in the State and a number of activists of the Jamaat-ul-Mujaheedin, Bangladesh (JMB) have been arrested from different parts of Lower Assam districts. Though the arrest of JMB activists prevented the outfit from establishing strong roots in the State, intelligence inputs indicate that the jehadi elements still consider Assam as a fertile ground for establishing strong roots.

After the riots in 2012, leaders of several jehadi groups mentioned about the riots in their speeches, while such groups also mentioned about the riots in their propaganda material released through the internet.