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POST TIME: 13 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
No Bangladeshi settled in Assam
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan tells The Independent
Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan

No Bangladeshi settled in Assam

No Bangladeshi has gone to Assam to reside there permanently since the War of Liberation in 1971, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told The Independent yesterday on the heels of remarks made by general secretary of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with regard to the alleged illegal migration to the bordering northeastern Indian state.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said in New Delhi on Monday that people excluded from the final list of Assam-specific National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be de-franchised and deported to their country, according to a NDTV report.  

"The NRC will ensure the detection of all illegal immigrants. The next step will be delete - means deletion of names of illegal immigrants from voters list and deprive them from all government benefits. The next stage will be deportation," he was quoted as saying without mentioning the name of Bangladesh.

However, a report by BBC Bangla on the same event quoted the BJP leader as saying that those who will be excluded from the final NRC for Assam will be deported to Bangladesh.

On July 30, the final draft of the NRC was published leaving behind more than 40 lakh people, creating a huge controversy both in India and outside.

“Look, we have a very good relationship with India. Having said that, I would like to say that we always say unequivocally that not a single Bangladeshi has gone to Assam to stay permanently,” home minister Khan told this correspondent when his comment was sought in relations to the statement made by the BJP general secretary.

When his attention was drawn to Madhav’s notion ‘Detect, Delete, Deport’, he said, “They will not find a single one (Bangladeshi).

Quoting official spokesperson of the Indian external affairs ministry Raveesh Kumar, the BBC report stated, “We are in regular touch with Bangladesh regarding the NRC process.”

As asked, the home minister said, “I haven’t received anything. This matter is dealt with by the foreign ministry. My ministry deals with

issues related to the identification.”

No official concerned of the foreign ministry could be reached for comments regarding the Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson’s claim of maintaining regular contact with Bangladesh.

Earlier on many occasions, the Bangladeshi diplomats said that India is yet to raise the issue with Bangladesh at any level of talks.

Recently, a top official of the foreign ministry told The Independent, “India never raised the issue with us at any level. But, after the publication of the final draft of the NRC, we communicated with the Indians to know what was going on.”

“We were told the matter relating to the NRC is an internal matter of India and Bangladesh will not be affected by that,” he said.

When contacted for comments on the BJP general secretary’s remarks, an official of the Indian

high commission in Dhaka told this correspondent yesterday, “The NRC process is an internal issue of India and everything is being done maintaining due process. This is the official position of the Indian government.”

“I have nothing more to say in addition to that,” he added.