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Guwahati: The Assam Accord of 1985 had become outdated and required major amendments including insertion of a clause empowering India take punitive action against Bangladesh if it failed to stop “infiltration” and refused to take back illegal migrants, senior BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy said here on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference, Swamy also said that sealing of India-Bangladesh border was not a solution to the problem of illegal migration. “Instead India should tell Bangladesh that there would be consequences if it did not cooperate,” he said. The BJP MP however said that if an illegal Bangladeshi Muslim migrant was ready to convert to Hindu then such a migrant could be allowed to stay in India.
The Assam Accord signed between the central government, Assam government, AASU and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) had fixed March 25, 1972 as the cut-off date for detecting and deporting Bangladeshi infiltrators from the state. The process of detection and deportation of infiltrators however has not made much progress, with only a few thousand persons declared as infiltrators so far. The expulsion rate is even more less, with Bangladesh refusing to accept those persons.
Significantly, Swamy’s visit to Guwahati and his remarks on the Assam Accord coincided with a satyagraha staged by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in Guwahati demanding time-bound implementation of the Accord. Thousands of AASU volunteers marched through major streets in Guwahati on Saturday demanding steps for rooting out the fundamentalists and jihadis from the state and providing constitutional safeguards to Assamese people.
Addressing the rally AASU adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya also asked prime minister Narendra Modi to keep his poll promises of implementing the Assam Accord, sealing of India-Bangladesh border and driving out illegal Bangladeshi migrants.