Assam: Speaker takes PM's name in House over illegal immigrants issue

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Speaker takes PM's name in House over illegal immigrants issue
Guwahati, Aug 26: Assam Assembly Speaker Pranab Kumar Gogoi today asked AIUDF MLAs what action would they take against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for saying during the Lok Sabha campaign that lakhs of illegal immigrants were there in the state.

Gogoi said this when a noisy scene was created after AIUDF MLA Sherman Ali Ahmed objected to BPF MLA Pramila Rani Brahma's statement about existence of illegal immigrants in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts during the Question Hour.

Brahma objected to frequent transfer of Circle Officers in BTAD saying the area was very sensitive and "many incidents have taken place due to encroachment by illegal immigrants". Reacting to this, Ahmed said, "BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary recently said there is no illegal immigrant in BTAD. If you (Brahma) have any knowledge, say it with proof."

Other AIUDF MLAs also supported him and rose to their feet demanding that the Speaker expunge the phrase "illegal immigrants" from the record of proceedings. The Speaker, however, rejected the demand saying, "There is no problem in using that word." Other opposition parties AGP, BJP and BPF also backed Brahma saying there are illegal immigrants in Assam.

Some ruling Congress MLAs also supported them. Ahmed said on the pretext of illegal immigrants issue, "one particular community has been tortured always". On this, Gogoi said, "When Modi came to Assam, he said lakhs of illegal immigrants were in Assam and all would have to leave bag and baggage after election. Now what action will you (AIUDF) take against him (Modi)?" His statement was welcomed by the Opposition by thumping on the desk.

Assam Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain said, "Members are trying to politicise the issue out of nothing. The government is committed not to torture anyone coming before March 25, 1971. All others coming after that will not be allowed to stay here."

Hearing this, AGP MLA Padma Hazarika said, "There are illegal immigrants and they should be expelled from the state. There is no politics." When Ahmed said peoples' human rights were being violated by forcefully deporting them from Assam without proper verification, the Speaker said: "It is a fact that there are illegal immigrants. They should be sent back by a legal route." 

PTI

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