NEW DELHI, Oct 25 - Even as the debate over influx from Bangladesh rages on, a thorough analysis has shown that voters in several Assembly constituencies in Assam have doubled over the years, with Boko Legislative Assembly Constituency (LAC) alone recording a mind boggling increase of voters from 80 per cent to 2135 per cent between 1971 to 1997.
A detailed analysis of data of several such LACs is part of the third report of the Supreme Court-appointed Upamanyu Hazarika Commission on the �India-Bangladesh International Boundary�. The Commission recommended setting up of an independent investigation into the manner, in which illegal migrants entrench themselves in Assam, including unearthing of nexuses in this connection.
In this situation of the Government not implementing the Assam Accord, it has been suggested that a protective shield for genuine Indian citizens in Assam in the form of restrictions on land transfer and reservation in Government jobs needs to be implemented. Indrajit Barua has suggested the introduction of an inner-line permit, or that all those who figure in the 1951 National Register of Citizens in Assam, or all those who have been residents of Assam in 1951, and any person who has been an Indian citizen in 1951 residing in any part of the country � their progeny and successors should be the only ones entitled to purchase of land in Assam or any allotment of land by the Government.
Relying on a submission made by Indrajit Barua, an eminent civil engineer who has undertaken several studies on illegal migration, the Commission reported that an analysis of 14 polling stations in Boko Legislative Assembly constituency, 80 kms west of Guwahati and having a riverine border with the Brahmaputra recorded a massive increase in electors between 1971 to 1997, and in most cases the number of electors having more than doubled.
In another polling station near Kaziranga, i.e., Najan Polling Station at village Kuthori, between 1979 to 2015, the number of Hindu voters showed an increase of 132.40 per cent and Muslim voters increased by 409.76 per cent.
It has been suggested that in the face of the disproportionate increase in population and lack of Governmental measures to tackle such infiltration and entrenchment, measures like land reservation and reservation in Government jobs for those who were Indian citizens in 1951 should be put into place, the Hazarika Commission suggested.
Barua has also undertaken a statistical analysis of the change in demographic pattern and by extrapolating population growth figures, has arrived at the finding that indigenous population will become a minority by 2047.
The Hazarika Commission, quoting representation from Sangrami Satirtha Sammelan, a citizens� organisation based in Sipajhar, which is in the north bank of the Brahmaputra, reported that the State Government has admitted that large tracts of land were under the encroachment of persons of doubtful nationality.
The case is pending before the Special Court constituted under the Assam Land Grabbing Act, 2010 at Mangaldai, but discloses the pattern of sudden explosion of population and immigration in this area. The Special Court has taken cognizance of the complaint and reports have been called for from the civil authorities, but the facts are telling, it said.
The case has been instituted on the basis of admitted facts of encroachment by the Circle Officer, Sipajhar of Darrang district.
An RTI application was filed by one N Kalita in April 2013 before the Circle Officer, Sipajhar seeking details of Village Grazing Reserve (VGR) and Professional Grazing Reserve (PGR) lands in Sipajhar circle. The response was furnished by the Circle Officer on May 25, 2013 saying that in the riverine areas of Sipajhar Circle, there were 77,420 bighas of VGR and PGR land (around 26,000 acres).
The most pertinent response is that it has been stated that all of the 77,420 bighas of land is under encroachment.
The case discloses the entire nexuses and the manner in which illegal migrants occupy Government and grazing lands and that such illegal migrants pose as landless, erosion-affected people from other districts of Assam and thereby successfully obtain allotment in other areas.
It appears that in spite of such strong observations and the eviction order, nothing has executed and their numbers have only grown.
Admittedly, encroachment has been going on since the last more than 25 years and admittedly these persons are �non-Indians� as evident from official correspondence and have displaced traditional grazers and local people. Despite the land being admittedly under encroachment, nevertheless, all Government facilities including schools, health centres and polling stations are available in this area, the Supreme Court was told.
In 1971, which is the cut-off year for grant of citizenship for the migrants from Bangladesh into India, there were no polling stations in this area. It is stated that the first polling station was established in 1985 and the number of electors in this area is now in the region of 25,000.
A representation from Jatia Nagarik Manch, Darrang relates to 5,000 bighas of land in a riverine area, which was occupied overnight on September15.
As disclosed in the representation, overnight some 300-400 illegal migrants of Bangladeshi origin came and forcibly occupied part of the land. The land had been cultivated by the local population since the last 50 years and the land revenue had also been paid. According to the representation, despite a police complaint being lodged, neither the Deputy Commissioner nor the SP have undertaken any action to restore the land.