Saturday, May 21, 2005

INDIA: Assam forced deportation of Bangladeshi's - UPDATE - 7 Filings

FLASHPOINT ASSAM: Strains of Xenophobia - DakBangla monitoring of events in Assam continues and we note several startling developments:

  • The VHP has confirmed the State Ministers hunch that it is behind the forced deportation of Bangladesh origin settlers with the Times of India reporting Stoking an already raging fire, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has now decided to "use the Bajrang Dal to launch a peaceful door-to-door campaign in the state to mount an economic boycott of Bangladeshi migrants." State VHP president J C Pathak said the strategy would be presented to its cadres on May 24. "We will throw in our lot behind the Bajrang Dal to make the campaign successful," he stated”.
  • The forced exodus appears to be escalating inside Assam and the Indian Express reports “The situation became worse with two more organisations, Bajrang Dal and Viswa Hindu Parishad issuing similar quit notices in Nalbari district which has a sizeable population of minorities.”
  • Meanwhile Assam Tribune says “A district police chief in upper Assam, speaking to The Assam Tribune last week, spoke of two departmental circulars issued in quick succession during the first fortnight of this February. One said that the Bangladeshi detection process should relax a little, as there have been allegations of harassment of many people. Even as this was being implemented, came the other circular, which instructed the police in the districts not to relax the process, and that the detection work should continue with renewed vigour.”
  • Although this has not been reported in the Dhaka press, it appears that the Bangladesh government would move the UNHCR in event that this exodus does become a reality, making it one of the severest refugee issue in South Asia. The Assam Tribune says “Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Morshed Khan has summoned Indian High Commission officials in Dhaka and warned that India stop the exodus of people from Assam to Bangladesh! Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs said that the Foreign Minister further told Indian officials that Bangladesh would be under obligation to provide humanitarian assistance to the people but would ask the UNHCR to intervene. He asked India to stop the exodus of people, sources said.”
  • On the borders with Bangladesh things as of now appears peaceful and PTI quotes the BSF as saying “Amid reports of exodus by suspected Bangladeshi nationals from different parts of Assam, the BSF today said the international border was peaceful and nobody was crossing over to the neighboring country. "No so-called Bangladeshis are going out to the other side of the border and there are no interventions from the Bangladeshi Rifles also," a senior official told PTI on condition of anonymity. "The Bangladesh border is silent and peaceful," he added.”
1. VHP cries: Boycott Bangladesh migrants
2. Bangla threatens to move UNHCR
3. VHP, Bajrang Dal, others target B’deshis
4. Detecting Bangladeshis not easy task
5. Despite exodus, Bangladesh border peaceful and silent: BSF
6. BDR agrees to joint patrolling with BSF
7. Assam CM's remarks irresponsible: BJP

Click here to read all the 7 Filings listed above

Read Update 20th May

Read Update 17th May