GUWAHATI: Expressing concern over the “poor treatment” meted out by the state government to Bengali Hindus in Assam, the All Assam Bengali Youth Students’ Federation (AABYSF) has requested the government not to “harass” Indian citizens by tagging them as illegal Bangladeshis.
The student body launched a three-day protest at Dispur Last Gate on the first day of the budget session of the assembly seeking safeguards from the state government for the community.
“Over the years, people belonging to the Bengali Hindu community have been harassed and called ‘illegal citizens’. They have been ill treated by police and even kept in detention camps without any proof of their nationality. The state government has not even spared kids, who have been kept in detention camps in the most inhuman conditions,” said AABYSF president Mahananda Sarkar Dutta, who is on a 36-hour hunger strike.
The federation pointed out that Bengali Hindus have been residing in Assam for generations and have contributed to all-round development of the state. “A section of Bengali Hindus had to migrate from Bangladesh to Assam and other states in India as they were victims of Partition in 1947. Many of them, as well as their forefathers, had fought for the independence of the country,” he said, accusing the government of oppressing Bengali Hindus by dubbing them foreigners.
Further, the AABYSF urged chief minister Tarun Gogoi to release all persons of the community lodged at various detention camps in Assam. “We insist that the government withdraw the cases against Bengali Hindus pending in different foreigners’ tribunals and other courts and declare them Indian citizens. We also demand withdrawal of the categorization of Bengali Hindus as ‘D’ (doubtful) voters as soon as possible,” Dutta added.