Rehabilitate Bengali Muslims only after verification: Bodo groups


Guwahati : Two Bodo groups including the National Democratic Front of Bodoland’s (NDFB) pro-talk faction Saturday demanded that the Assam government verify the citizenship status of the Bengali-speaking Muslims, displaced during last month’s clashes, before rehabilitating them.

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The pro-talk faction of the NDFB, also known as NDFB (Progressive) and People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement – a conglomeration of several Bodo and non-Bodo organisations in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District – also threatened to launch a vigorous movement if this is not done.

The NDFB pro-talk faction’s secretary-general Gobinda Basumatary said they would not allow even a single displaced member of the community to enter the BTAD areas until their citizenship status is verified.

The outfit also appealed the Assam government to defer the process of rehabilitation of the displaced member of the Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers till the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is updated.

A total of 77 people were killed and over four lakh people were displaced in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts after clashes broke between the Bodos and Bengali speaking Muslim settlers since July 19 this year.

An estimated 2.5 lakh displaced Muslim migrants are now taking shelter in relief camps, mostly in Dhubri district bordering Bodo-dominated Kokrajhar district

“Let us assert that the Bodos will not allow the migrants to enter Bodoland as long as the government doesn’t update the NRC by taking 1951 as the cut-off year and detect the foreigners,” Basumatary said.

The NDFB is a rebel group that entered into a ceasefire with the government a few years back.

Basumatary also accused All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badaruddin Ajmal for playing communal politics and held him responsible for the ongoing attack on the students and people of the northeast in other states of the country, forcing mass exodus.

Basumatary said that Bodos would not allow Ajmal to enter BTAD areas in future.

He also slammed the centre and the state government in Assam for being soft towards Bangladeshis and said that Bodos are becoming minority in their own land losing their right over land and resources and the various governments have failed to do anything in this regard.

“This is one of the reasons for which the Bodos have been demanding a separate state for last 44 years,” he said.