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Hidden uneasiness in Awami League on NRC in Assam

Politics

Reza-ud- dowla Pradhan, Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka | 7 September 2019, 09:02AM

Hidden uneasiness in Awami League on NRC in Assam
Photo: Collected

In the recently published National Citizens Registrar (NRC) of North – Eastern Indian state of Assam more than 19 lakh people have been excluded from the final list. They have identified these excluded citizens primarily as the ‘Bangladeshi intruders’. As neighbor of India the Assam incident has also created impact in Bangladesh.

There are hidden uneasiness among the leaders and workers of Awami League about the Assam situation. The comments of the leaders and ministers of Assam in the media have further aggravated that uneasiness. But it was not admitted by the party high command.

According to opinion of the ruling Awami League the Assam incident is their internal matter. However the Awami League is closely observing the situation. On the other hand, India has also assured us that Bangladesh should not be worry about it.

Awami League presidium member Kazi Zafrulllah told barta24.com that Bangladesh need not to be worried on Assam incident. However, we are to remain alert so that they cannot make ‘push in’ attempt. There is no uneasiness or anxiety in Awami League.

But the activists of different tiers of Awami league are not assured about the comments of the leaders and ministers about Assam incident.

A secretary of the central committee on condition of anonymity told barta24.com that it is fact that during the rule of Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina several important problems between two countries were solved but still there are some pending issues. The relation between Bangladesh and India are at new height now. The heads of the government of the two countries have expressed it on several occasions. But the NRC in Assam can be a new irritant in the bi-lateral relation.

Myanmar military junta has created a mounting problem to Bangladesh by driving out 11 lakh Rohingyas from their Rakhaine state. Similarly in future there might be a flow of people from Assam to Bangladesh creating huge problem for the already burdened with 17 crore people.

It is learnt from diplomatic sources that during his recent visit to Bangladesh Indian External Affairs minister S. Jaishankar assured Bangladesh government that the NRC is their internal matter so Bangladesh does not need to be worried about it.

Though the central government of India has assured Bangladesh about the NRC but the comments of the provincial governments’ law makers and ministers are worrying Bangladesh who are saying that the excluded 19 lakh people are of Bangladeshi origin and they will have to go back there. Similar opinions are being passed by some ruling BJP MPs.

After talking with some leaders of policy making level it was learnt that the Assam situation was discussed formally at their level. Primarily the high command likes to keep faith on Indian governments’ assurance. So the party and the government are showing restraint from making any ‘aggressive’ reaction in reply to the comments of any body of India.

The grass root level activists of Awami League are of opined that the NRC related problem in Assam cannot be observed lightly. It is clear from the movements of both central and state governments India and Assam that the matter is still unclear to them. This does not mean that India is free from the risk. The Assam people are mostly Bangla speaking and above all they are Muslims also. So the Awami League and the government should strike out a counter strategy if they are made ‘push in’ in Bangladesh.

Regarding Assam situation Awami League general secretary and Bridges minister Obaidul Kader said that we have learnt from India that there is opportunity of making appeal to the courts by the excluded people declared stateless. It will take time to reach a final decision through several legal procedures. Let us wait and see to take any decision after it reaches its peak.