How right to vote given to 4 million Bangladeshis led to Islamisation of Assam
New Delhi, Sep 18: The arrest of several Hizbul Mujahideen operatives from Assam has led to the unearthing of a major recruitment drive in the state. While the Hizbul Mujahideen has trying to make inroads into Assam for sometime now, the fact remains that the state has been a happy hunting ground for Islamic terrorists.
The rise of Islamic terror in the state is not a new phenomenon. The roots of Islamic terror began taking shape in Assam post 1983 and it was the Nellie massacre of 1983 that led to this problem, police officials say.
Following the massacre of 1983, it was the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen which first made its landfall into Assam. This group was then followed by the Harkat-ul Jihadi Islami and then the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen. All these groups came in from Bangladesh and over the years have brainwashed lakhs of youth and formed a formidable Islamic terror group.
The turning point:
The turning point in Assam was however the Nellie massacre. The victims were the descendants of Muslims who came to Assam under the direct patronage of the Assam Government of British India in the first decade of the 20th century.
The violence was seen as a fall out of the decision to hold the controversial state elections in 1983 amidst the Assam agitation. The agitation in a large scale was staged after Indira Gandhi decided to give 4 million immigrants from Bangladesh the right to vote.
In 1978 a by-election was necessitated following the death of Lok Sabha member Hiralal Patwari. During the election process it was found that the electorate had grown considerably due to illegal immigration. The All India Assam Students Union demanded that the polls be postponed until the names of these immigrants was deleted from the rolls.
In 1983, it was decided go ahead with the elections despite stiff opposition. The police said that there were 63 constituencies in which polls could be held without any problem. However there were 23 constituencies where it was impossible to conduct the elections. Nellie was cited as one of the most troubled spots.
The massacre took place during a six hour period on February 18 1983. The massacre is said to have claimed nearly 2,191 lives.
The Nellie massacre was one of the most cited recruitment points by all terror groups. Groups such as the Harkat, HuJI, Jamaat brought in its men from Bangladesh and undertook massive recruitment drives.
Along with the terrorists came in the illegal immigrants too in large numbers and over the years they even earned the right to vote. Intelligence Bureau officials say that the problem had multiple dimensions. The cry to root out the illegal immigrants never stopped, but successive governments were dragging their feet as it meant a large vote bank would be wiped out.
From Assam, these terror groups gradually spread their tentacles into other northeastern states as well as West Bengal in a big manner. Over a period of time, they had recruited lakhs of youth into their fold. This then led to the other grand plan to establish the East Pakistan in this region.
In this context the NRC exercise is an important one. Those whose names do not feature on the list will not be deported as there is no such treaty with Bangladesh. However they will lose voting rights and other privileges from the government.
The recent arrests of Hizbul operatives and the subsequent investigations not only suggest that they were setting up modules. They were planning on raking up issues such as the Rohingya Muslims, NRC and also the Nellie massacre to spruce up their modules, investigation officials say.