we're not the only one with problems


Supreme Court strikes down the illegal migrants act – a blow to Bangladeshi illegal immigration into India and human rights issue Raju Subramanium
Jul. 12, 2005

It is a victory for Indian sovereigntyand a blow to Bangladeshi waves of illegal immigrants and Islamic Jihadists into India especially Assom. In a major blow to Assam's Congress Government ahead of next year's Assembly elections, the Supreme Court today struck down as unconstitutional the controversial Illegal Migrants Act, which the Opposition had termed a tool to delay identification and deporation of illegal Bangaldeshi migrants. It is defeat for the Congress party who uses minorities of Islamic religion to get their votes and stay in power. It is victory for BJP, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the All Assam Students'' Union.

However, one very important issue opens up from this action of the Supreme court. The human rights watchers say, India after this act is theoretically repealed must observe human rights for its minorities especially Indian citizens who live in Assom and are Bengalis. A large population in Assom and Tripura are Bengalis who are Indian citizens. In the past the Assamese people were less than kind to them. While deportation of Bangladeshi jihadists and illegal immigrants have to be done, unnecessary harassment and discrimination of Indian citizens of Bengali desent must stop.

According to media sources, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi reacted to the court judgment by saying: "The Congress has been all along supporting the IMDT Act because it prevented harassment of citizens belonging to the Indian minorities in the name of detecting foreigners. Our party and Government want a permanent solution to the foreigners'' issue."

Gogoi said he would wait for full details of the judgment before commenting further.

Outfits representing minorities have blamed Congress Governments at the state and the Centre for failing to put forth the minorities'' case. "The Congress did not represent the case properly. It simply remained silent, telling the apex court that it stood for retention of the Act. It failed to highlight that minorities would be exposed to largescale discrimination and harassment after the Act is gone," Abdus Samad Ahmed, general secretary of the United Minorities Front, said.

Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who was one of the principal signatories to the accord, said the judgment would save Assam from being wiped out by infiltrators."It is a historic decision and a long-desired victory for the people of Assam," AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya added.

Perhaps the happiest man today was Sarbananda Sonowal, one of the petitioners who challenged the IMDT Act's validity in the Supreme Court.

Sonowal, an AGP Lok Sabha MP, was AASU president when he filed the petition. "It is a major victory for the people of Assam who have been under the threat of being wiped out by largescale influx of people from Bangladesh..." he said.