Time to flush out illegal immigrants
By The New Indian Express
13th August 2012 12:32 AM
Two persons died and 46 others were injured when a protest against Assam riots in Mumbai turned violent on Saturday and demonstrators torched vehicles, including media vans, and pelted stones, forcing the police to fire in the air and use batons to disperse the mob. The situation would have taken an uglier turn but for swift action by the police, which was itself one of the main targets of the vandals. The Maharashtra chief minister has ordered an inquiry to establish whether the violence was ‘spontaneous or planned’. The fact that some residents from the Northeast were attacked in separate but inter-related incidents in Pune and Andhra Pradesh, however, points toward a dangerous trend. Some elements, it appears, are trying to give a communal twist to recent violence in Assam and inciting members of a particular community against people from the Northeast, particularly in Assam.
This vicious campaign must be nipped in the bud. The government must acknowledge that social unrest in Assam and Northeast is not a clash between followers of different faiths but a conflict between Indians and illegal immigrants who have invaded the region and are threatening the livelihood and cultural identity of people living there for centuries. Unfortunately, despite repeated demands from the people of Assam and categorical directives from the Supreme Court to identify and deport these illegal immigrants in accordance with the law, the Centre and state governments have done little on this score because some political parties use them as vote-banks.
It is time the Union and state governments flushed out all those who have entered India illegally and are causing social strife in different parts of the country. They are a threat to India’s security and integrity and political parties must keep national interest above petty electoral considerations and partisan politics. They must also ensure that there is no discrimination against the people from the Northeast in the rest of the country. Procrastination on this account will lead to their further alienation from the national mainstream.
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