Assam government moots survey to identify indigenous Muslims

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GUWAHATI: With doubts over the accuracy of the National Register of Citizens continuing to be raised across the state, the Assam government has decided to conduct a survey to identify the indigenous Muslim population of the state in order to segregate them from illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

 

The government has earmarked Rs.100 crore for Indigenous Muslim Development Corporation in this regard, said a Business Standard report. The survey will be conducted to identify the people from Goria, Moria, Desi and Jola of the tea tribe community of the state, who are considered to be indigenous," the report quoted Ranjit Kumar Dutta, state minister, as saying.

"This is a sensitive matter. There will be no entry of Bangladeshi origin people in this survey. We will come to know about the indigenous Muslims in this survey," he said adding that this was not a political agenda of BJP but a long-standing commitment of the party.

Welcoming the initiative, Assam Minority Development Board chairman Muminul Aowal said that the state has around 1.30 crore Muslim population and out of them around 90 lakh are of Bangladeshi origin.

"Out of 1.30 crore Muslim population, only 40 lakh are from different indigenous Muslim communities. The indigenous Muslims of Assam have faced many problems from the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. They are deprived to get political rights and this has also affected their economy, education, cultural rights," Muminul Aowal was quoted by India Today as saying.

"Various organisations from Goria, Moria, Desi and Jola of the tea tribe community have demanded the government to take appropriate action to protect them, to give constitutional protection and they are raising their voices since 2008. Now, the state government has a taken an initiative and will conduct a census and we welcome it," Muminul Aowal said.

Muminul Aowal further said that the Goria, Moria, Deshi, Jola Muslims are living in Assam since the past few centuries and they are indigenous people of the state. He said that the NRC process had totally failed after a large number of Bangladeshis name have been included there.

"A large number of local people names were excluded from it and we can't accept this NRC. We want the correct NRC list. 13 districts of the state are now dominated by the Bangladeshi Muslims. 28 Muslims MLAs from the AIUDF and the Congress are now in the Assam assembly and 14 Congress MLAs are from Bangladesh origin. There is only one MLA from Assamese Muslim community. The Congress in Assam has now become a Bangladeshi Muslim party," Muminul Aowal said.

Muminul Aowal, who is also the convenor of Janagosthiya Samanway Parishad Asom (JSPA), said that the initiative for the development of the indigenous Muslims in the state will be taken after completing the census.

"The difference between the indigenous Muslims and Bangladeshi Muslims will be cleared after the census. It is necessary to identify the indigenous Muslims," he said.

Meanwhile, Congress state president Ripun Bora alleged that this survey is an eyewash which is being conducted by the government.

Image Credit: India Today

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