GUWAHATI, July 23 - Hitting out at the successive governments for failing to resolve the illegal migrants’ problem, the convener of Prabajan Virodhi Manch, Upamanyu Hazarika, today accused the State’s political leaders of using the vexed issue to “build their careers.”
“Thirty-eight years (since the beginning of the Assam Agitation) on, the issue continues to linger. Leaders have used the issue to become MLAs, MPs, Union ministers and build palatial houses, without bothering about the future of the indigenous people,” he told media persons here.
He said the present Government is talking about “change,” but what the people need is “reparation” from the political leaders.
Hazarika welcomed the interim report of the HS Brahma-led Committee for Protection of Land Rights of Indigenous People of Assam, which recommended that the base year for reservation of land for indigenous people should be 1951.
“This has been a long-standing demand of the indigenous people. A similar recommendation was given in the Supreme Court by a committee led by me, but nothing has been done on the recommendation till date,” he said.
Hazarika said the land reservation alone would not protect the indigenous people as corrupt officials were helping illegal Bangladeshis to encroach on land and get all benefits like housing, toilets, schools, health centres, etc.
“Such benefits, besides reservation in government jobs, government contracts, educational institutions, etc., should also be granted only on the basis of the base year,” he added.
Hazarika also expressed doubts over the political will of the present Government to address the illegal migrants’ issue.
He also cited an instance from Sipajhar where a BJP leader was allegedly sheltering illegal migrants.