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Assam state committee tells Indian govt to free land from illegal Bangladeshi migrants

  • Published at 10:44 am August 1st, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:56 pm August 1st, 2017
Assam state committee tells Indian govt to free land from illegal Bangladeshi migrants
A special committee formed in Assam has asked the Indian state’s government to send a task force to clear land grabbers and “illegal Bangladeshi migrants” from all territory belonging to indigenous people. The Committee for Protection of Land Rights of Indigenous People of Assam - popularly known as the Brahma Committee - was constituted on February 6, 2017 with former chief election commissioner (CEC) Hari Sankar Brahma at its head. In its interim report to the Assam government last week, the committee claims  that the unabated influx of illegal Bangladeshi nationals into Assam is a legacy of the pre-independence ‘Grow More Food’ campaign launched by Sir Sayed Mohd Sadullah. Sadullah - who formed five Muslim League governments between 1937 and 1946 - used the scheme to attract hundreds of thousands of Bengali Muslim peasants from East Bengal (now Bangladesh). He settled them in Assam by giving liberal grants of land in forest reserves, VGRs and PGRs. In addition, vast stretches of char lands and government waste or ‘khas’ land in lower Assam districts and tribal areas have been encroached upon by Muslim peasants. “Illegal migration is a constant threat to the very existence of the indigenous people of Assam, as also to that of Assam itself,” the Brahma committee wrote in its interim report. It continued: “If this massive infiltration is not checked immediately by (a) sealing off the unplugged borders, and (b) by detecting and deporting them through a Repatriation Treaty signed between India and Bangladesh, the situation will further aggravate.”