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Flood Jihad: Assam floods may have more than meets the eye

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Illegal immigration has led to a lot of problems in Assam such as grabbing of land, counterfeiting, drugs, and now man-made floods

New Delhi, July 06: Assam floods that have been playing havoc in the state may not be nature's fury after all, but a well planned man-made disaster. Two men, Mithu Hussain Laskar and Kabul Khan, have been arrested from Cachar district for allegedly damaging the embankment of Barak river that led to the floods in Silchar, Assam.

Assam Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the flood was a man-made disaster and the miscreants would face stringent action. Reports said that Khan had allegedly filmed the breach which the CM showed to the local residents when he visited the embankment site in Cachar district.

Aerial view of the flood-affected area in Assam

A case was registered by the CID in Guwahati and the probe which revealed the involvement of six persons will be headed by the Additional Director General of Police.

On May 24 a police complaint was lodged against unknown miscreants for cutting through the embankment at Bethukandi which is situated around 3 kilometres from Silchar. This let the rain-accumulated water of a wetland drain into the Barak river. In June the river water entered following heavy rains that engulfed Silchar and this ended up affecting the lives and livelihood of 1 lakh people.

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Only a thorough probe would be able to ascertain why the accused indulged in such an act. An informed official that OneIndia spoke with said the possibility of it being an act to target Hindus in Silchar cannot be ruled out. However only a thorough probe will ascertain that, the official added.

In Silchar the total population is 172,830 of which 86.31 per cent are Hindus. While the above mentioned incident is one part of it, Assam has for many years witnessed the problem of land jihad, similar to the one witnessed in West Bengal.

Intelligence reports say that the problem of land jihad is rampant in Assam. Illegal immigrants who cross over from Bangladesh have become so influential that they have influenced the minorities and even befriended them. Not only do they indulge in crimes, but also grab land.

An Intelligence Bureau official says that these persons have earned huge sums of money through counterfeiting and drug trade and have forcibly snatched lands from the poor Hindus in Assam.

Former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing, Amar Bhushan says that this is a dangerous issue.

IOC delivers cooking gas via boats in flood-hit AssamIOC delivers cooking gas via boats in flood-hit Assam

He says that in the early 1990s, the Research and Analysis Wing had carried out a daredevil operation in Bangladesh against the activities of the Jamaat-e-Islami. The intention behind the operation was a larger one and India was clearly worried about the rise of illegal immigration which the Jamaat was carrying out at the behest of the ISI.

The problem with the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh is nothing new. The bigger issue is that these persons no longer come to Bengal or Assam in search of jobs and livelihood. They run powerful crime syndicates which includes bomb industries like we saw in the case of Burdwan in West Bengal in the year 2014.

Back in 2012, the Intelligence Bureau had reported that the issue was catching up like wild fire in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Telangana (then AP) and Karnataka. The report stated that there are all sorts of people. Many are here in search of a livelihood, but then there are many who indulge in illegal activities such as smuggling of drugs and sometimes arms. They come into the country through West Bengal and gradually move into other parts of the country. While touts and middlemen help them with documents, there are others who take advantage of their poor living conditions and lure them with money in order to carry out illegal activities.

Another modus operandi that came to light recently was how illegal immigrants were trying to get themselves registered as Indian citizens. When the NRC exercise took place in Assam, officials found that these individuals were trying to get themselves included in the NRC despite being declared as foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunal. They were providing their voter ID cards as evidence to claim their Indian citizenships.

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Investigations also revealed that they had managed to source these id cards by using legacy codes of other persons. With the help of agents, these persons had bribed people obtain the legacy data codes.

The officials had unearthed at least 40 lakh instances of a family tree mismatch and the persons using the same code were unable to identify each other. The Muslim migrants who had infiltrated into India were believed to be running this racket.

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