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Assam Police deports Indian Muslim citizens
By Mohammad Abdus Samad

Recently the arrest of three Muslims of Assam and their deportation to Bangladesh without prosecution in the court by the Assam Police has clearly exposed the hostile attitude of AGP government of Assam towards Muslims as the government has so for taken up no step to punish its guilty officials nor to bring these citizens back to Assam despite repeated demands by different Muslim organizations including all Assam Minority Studentsí Union (AAMSU).

Once again Muslims have felt threatened and insecure in Assam when the foreigner deportation movement in Assam started in 1979. Since 1979, Muslims have been killed, rendered homeless, displaced and driven out of their native places by the anti-Muslim elements and Bodo terrorists causing serious hindrance to their socio-economic and educational development. Besides a large chunk of Muslims living on the bank of the River Brahmaputra are affected by the havoc of recurring flood and erosion of river washing away their houses, livestock and properties in the river. After the recession of flood-water, the land is mostly unfit for next crop. Anyone who visits their areas during the summer will know what a miserable life they lead staying on the embankment of river. Neither proper flood control measure nor their rehabilitation measure is taken up by the government. Consequently the Muslims affected and displaced by the communal violence and flood are compelled to move from one place to another throughout Assam so as to eke out their bread and these people are mainly branded as foreign nationals.

However, in its statement, all Assam Minority Studentsí Union (AAMSU) said that on December 19, 2000, Guwahati City Police arrested three Indian Muslims suspecting them to be foreign nationals and forcefully pushed them back to Bangladesh without giving them an opportunity to substantiate their Indian citizenship. They were arrested while working as daily labourers at Guwahati. AAMSU has given the names of these three people illegally deported and some documentary evidences regarding their citizenship in India as follows: 

I. Md. Taizuddin who is the son of Moksed Ali and the grand-son of Rahimuddin is an inhabitant of the village Palhazi of Barpeta district. His grand fatherís name figured in the Electoral Roll 1966 (constituency-Barpeta, Vote-centre-palhazi, serial No 647 and House No.2000). Md. Taizuddin passed H.S.L.C Exam. In 1980 from Palhazi High School and H.S. Exam. From B.B.K. College, Nagoan.

II. Md. Shamsul Hoque, son of Sonaullah figures in the Electoral Roll of Rahampur vote centre. His fatherís name Sonaullah is included in the Electoral Roll of the Salmari Pathar vote centre of Chenga constituency and 

III. Md. Hasen Ali, son of Alom Miah is also reported to have figured in the Electoral Roll. 

What should be noted here is that a person if suspected as a foreign national cannot be deported until and unless he / she is prosecuted in the Tribunal constituted under the Illegal Migrant Determination by Tribunal Act (IMDT Act) 1983 and proved and declared as foreigner. But this procedure was not adopted while deporting these three Indian Muslims to Bangladesh resulting in the gross infringement of the fundamental rights as enshrined in our Constitution. 

Protesting the illegal deportation of these three Indian Muslim citizens by Assam Police, AAMSU threatened that they would approach the court and the National Human Right Commission for justice if Assam Government does not bring them back to Assam and hands them over to their respective families.

According to Assam Accord, a person who has come to Assam from a foreign country after March 25, 1971 is a foreign national to be deported from Assam. We the Muslims in Assam also demand the deportation of all genuine foreigners irrespective of caste, creed and language, illegally living in Assam but not the harassment and deportation of genuine citizens as happened on the pretext of the solution of foreigner issue in Assam. 

All Assam Studentsí Union (AASU), the brain-child of AGP, the present ruling political party in Assam, frequently demands the scrapping of IMDT Act as they assume that it sets a hurdle on the process of detection and deportation of foreigners in Assam, Their demand is quite unjustified. IMDT Act was passed in the Parliament in 1983 while the Assam Accord was signed between AASU and the centre in 1985. If IMDT Act is a hurdle to the process of detection and deportation of foreigners, AASU would have then demanded the scrapping of IMDT Act before signing the Assam Accord. In fact, IMDT Act has reasonably given a direction to detect, try and deport a genuine foreigner. Therefore the existence of IMDT Act and its implementation is essential for the lawful and reasonable solution of foreigner issue in Assam.

Needless to say here that AASU (also ABVP, HYCP and BJP) who demand the scrapping of IMDT Act, has now collusively maintained silence on the issuing of these three Indian Muslim citizens illegally deported to Bangladesh. Despite the presence of IMDT Act, Indian citizens are deported, what would happen if the Act is scrapped?

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