Hazarika Commission reports massive influx of illegal immigrants to Assam


A one-man Commission report to the Supreme Court on Indo-Bangladesh boundary has revealed some important findings pertaining to illegal migration from Bangladesh to Assam, which might pose a big threat to the state’s indigenous population reducing it to a minority by the year 2047.

In May this year, Supreme Court set up a Commission to visit the Indo-Bangla Border running through the length of the State of Assam, following a petition filed against issues concerning illegal migration, border fencing, construction of border roads, etc. The court appointed Senior Advocate Upamanyu Hazarika as the Commissioner. The Commission submitted its report on October 5 to the Court and has recommended that the apex court order a high-powered inquiry into all issues. The Court has directed both the Central and Assam governments to respond to the recommendations within four weeks for hearing on November 5.


Creation of ‘Sterile Zone’:

Undertaking extensive tours of the Indo-Bangladesh border in Assam, the Hazarika Commission suggested creation of a ‘Sterile Zone’ by demarcating/identifying a particular stretch from the international boundary in the riverine area and provision of identity cards to villagers there. The report stated that though the operational agency guarding the border on the ground was in favour of creation of a sterile zone, a policy decision from the Central and state government is awaited.

Hunger For Land- Prime reason for migration:

Observing that the primary reason for illegal migration is hunger for land, the Commission recommended that there should be a restriction in the transfer of land – whether by way of sale, purchase, gift or any other such transaction, or by way of allotment from the government or any other agency only to those who have been citizens of India in the year 1951 and their descendants. It is imperative that the statutory restrictions on transfer of land to non-tribals in existing tribal belts in Assam now be extended to non-tribal areas as well to stave off illegal migrants from acquiring land, the report suggested. The report claimed that the foreigners acquired land “through all means, the favourite mode being to pose as flood and erosion affected persons from other districts with the aid and assistance of a complicit and corrupt administration”.

Big influx:

The big influx over the years has created a huge immigration population which competes for jobs, in government institutions with Indian citizens, without verification of the antecedents of such non-Indians, the Commission noted and suggested that the same benchmark for transfer of land be adopted to be an effective deterrent for any illegal migrant and protection of indigenous inhabitants.

(With inputs from PTI)

Source: Niti Central