Monday, March 31, 2008

Huji cadre arrested in Agartala

AGARTALA: A Bangladeshi national suspected to have links with terrorist organisation HuJI has been arrested here on charges of indulging in anti-India activities and arms trafficking, police said on Monday.
Acting on a tip off, a joint team of Tripura police and CID sleuths on Saturday raided a house at Ramnagar and arrested Mamun Mia alias Suman Majumder, who identified himself as a garment trader from West Bengal.
Police said Mamun Mia's whereabouts were traced with the help of a pen drive the West Bengal police had seized from two Bangladeshi nationals arrested on January 15 in the Shibpur police station area near Kolkata.
Apart from the pen drive, the police had also seized high explosives, gelatin sticks and maps of a few Army camps in north Bengal.
Mia was flown to Kolkata on Saturday for interrogation.
Mia had been staying in Agartala for about three months and managed to get a permanent residence certificate.
The police suspect that Mia may have active links with the Harkat ul Jihadi Islami (HuJI) and is investigating if a racket in arms smuggling from Bangladesh exists in Tripura.


Mainland’s attitude towards NE must change: economist

By A Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 30 –

There is an indifferent attitude, almost of a colonial type, in the mainland of India towards NE. This needs to be changed through an arrangement so as to remove the feeling of alienation that afflicts the psyche of the NE people and thus to save the integrity of the country. For the purpose, the Rajya Sabha should be turned into a true council of States with a decisive say on the Union Budget.

This was the observation made by Dr Ashok Mitra, one of the leading economists of the country and a former Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India. Also a former Finance Minister of West Bengal, Dr Mitra was delivering the Foundation Day lecture of the Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development here today on ‘Seven Sisters and Federal Polity’.

For the feeling of alienation of the NE people, he said, the people of the mainland and the country’s policymakers are to be blamed. There are, however, three distinctions geographical, historical and ethnic – which also distinguish the region from the mainland of the country, he said.

But if NE is regarded as a part of the country in all respects, then it should be allowed to enjoy all the facilities available for development. The NE region, which constitutes 15 per cent of the country’s landmarks with five per cent of the country’s population living in it, should be offered the same pledge and scope for development as has been made for Kashmir, said Dr Mitra.

At present, the region hardly makes three per cent contribution to the gross domestic product of the country. The North Eastern Council (NEC) has also failed to bring about a change in the situation.

The water resources of the Brahmaputra, one of the most magnificent of the rivers, have also not been harnessed for the agricultural development ofthe region. No body has bothered to apply his mind to use the rich forest resources of this region.

The road building operations carried out by different organisations in this region are meant to facilitate movement of troops, not to further its economic development. The priority in this areas is on maintaining territorial integrity of the country, not on accelerating development, he said.

In the political arena also, only a few personalities like Fakhrudding Ali ahmed, Devakanta Borooah, PA Sangma and Bijoy Bhagawati, were given national status.

There must be something wrong with our constitution. An important limb of the country is neglected in terms of development and political position.

Though the Constiution of the country has described India as a Union of States, the imagination of the makers of the Constitution dried up after taking up the nomenclature of the Rajya Sabha from the American model of the Senate, he said.

This is why, five per cent of the nation’s population has representation in the Rajya Sabha according to its size. The pledges of the Constitution makers to make the Rajya Sabha a forum to discuss the problems of the States and making it a House of elders have also been forgotten.
The convention that a person should be a resident of the State concerned to represent it in the Rajya Sabha has also been obliterated with a recent amendment to the Constitution.

Therefore, to keep the integrity of the country intact, there is a need to amend the Constitution so as to give equal representation to each of the States in the Rajya Sabha and also to give this forum the prerogative on the money bills (budget). This will provide the NE region with a better scope to assert itself, Dr Mitra said.

The Rajya Sabha should also be given the power to appoint the Finance Commission members and to determine its terms of reference. Besides, the Planning Commission should be made a Constitutional body and appointment of its members should be the prerogrative of the Rajya Sabha, he said.

The function was conducted by former bureaucrat Jatin Hazarika.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bangladesh stand worries India

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, March 26 –

Bangladesh Government’s soft stand towards the leaders of the militant groups taking shelter in that country is turning out to be a major security concern for India and till date, the Government of India has not been able to put adequate pressure on the Government of the neighbouring country to evict the militants and radical forces using the territory of that country, highly placed official sources admitted today. Meanwhile, the stand of the Government of India on the issue of talks with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) remains the same and the Government is not too keen on talking through mediators after the talks with the People’s Consultative Group (PCG) failed to yield the desired results. The Centre is also of the view that the talks with the militant group must be held without any pre-condition and the top leaders of the outfit must come for talks.

Sources pointed out that time and again, the Government of India requested the Bangladesh Government to take action against the leaders of the anti-India forces taking shelter in that country, but till date, no such action has been taken and the attitude has not changed even after the caretaker Government assumed office. According to information available with the Indian security agencies, the top leaders of the ULFA including its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and the commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah are still in Bangladesh, while, the ULFA is still maintaining makeshift camps in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and Coxes Bazar areas.

The Government of Bangladesh has also not handed over ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia to India after his jail term in that country ended. Sources said that after Chetia’s jail term ended in Bangladesh, a petition was filed in the court with the appeal that he should not be handed over to India. The matter is still pending before the court and though the Government of Bangladesh is claiming that Chetia was in “protective custody”, Indian security agencies are of the view that he has been able to move freely and was in touch with the other leaders of the outfit. Sources also said that the ULFA C-in-C Paresh Baruah visited Thailand at least twice within the last six months and it is believed that he was in Bangkok to fix arms deals with clandestine dealers. However, for some time, the Indian security agencies failed to keep track of the movements of Baruah outside Bangladesh after he changed passports.

Indian security forces alleged that the militant groups are receiving direct of indirect help from the DGFI, the intelligence agency of Bangladesh. “Of course, DGFI is not providing weapons to the militants as weapons are easily available in the clandestine markets. But according to information available with the security forces, DGFI personnel are helping the militant leaders to ensure their free movement and there have been instances when the security forces along the border on the other side kept a blind eye whenever the militants were on their way to enter India,” sources added.

Sources revealed that apart from the ULFA, almost all the major militant groups of the North East have their bases in Bangladesh and the leaders of the outfit could operate easily from those bases. However, these issues were not discussed seriously during the recent visit of Bangladesh Army chief to India. Sources described the visit as a “goodwill visit” and it was aimed only at improving the relations between the two countries.

The presence of fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh also posed a grave security threat not only to North East but also to entire India as several recent fundamentalist attacks in different parts of India including the blasts in Hyderabad and Varanashi and the attack on the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, were linked back to Bangladesh. Sources said that though immediately after taking over power, the caretaker Government in Bangladesh acted tough on forces like Harkat ul Jehadi Islami (HUJI) and Jamat E Islami, Bangladesh, the pressure on these groups eased in recent times because of the reasons best known to the Bangla authorities.

Meanwhile, the Government of Myanmar has also not acted tough on the militant groups of North East having bases and camps in that country despite assuring the Government of India to do so. Last year, the Government of Myanmar promised to launch “coordinated operations” with the Indian security forces against the militant groups having camps in that country, but the assurance is yet to be translated into reality on the ground and only a few sporadic operations have so far been launched against the militants by the army personnel of Myanmar from time to time.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Focus: Arunachal

[Although this article is a week old, we think the matter covered in the interview is important enough for the immediate attention of our esteemed readers. If Indians don't wake up to the nefarious activities of the Chinese now, there might be a repeat of '62 - EIW Team]

'It is time to wake up to Chinese incursions'

The Rediff Interview/Arunachal MP Kiren Rijiju
March 04, 2008

Kiren Rijiju, the 36-year-old firebrand Member of Parliament representing Arunachal Pradesh (West), does not share the government's and Indian Army's perceptions about Chinese incursions in his border state.
While Defence Minister A K Antony and army chief General Deepak Kapoor have underplayed the intrusions on several occasions, Rijiju has tried to convey in Parliament the seriousness of the situation in the strategic state. Unfortunately till now his voice has been lost in the corridors of power.
Rijiju has pointed out for long that the Indian Army is not prepared for a conflict with China and today this is an accepted fact. The young MP still regrets that only cosmetic actions are being taken to correct this imbalance.
In this wide-ranging interview with Claude Arpi, the MP highlights not only the patriotism of the people of Arunachal, but also conveys in the strongest terms that it is time for India to wake up, to be self-confident and to stand by her interests and her borders.
Chinese intrusions have been denied by the army and the government, but you have repeatedly brought the matter to public notice. Could you tell us what is really happening?
In my constituency in Arunachal (West), there are many points where Chinese intrusions are happening. And it happens throughout the year. Since the 1962 war, the Government of India has not developed adequate infrastructure on the border. This has made access to the border very difficult from our side; while on the Chinese side, they have built infrastructure to facilitate movement of their army and people. Their side is far more accessible.
The Chinese (intrusions) are happening in a slow, creeping manner. Inch by inch, the Chinese station their army personnel and bring equipment.
Is it the army or grazers?
Grazers are basically a camouflage because the terrain is very difficult. I am speaking of areas from eastern Arunachal (Walong) to the western part (Tawang). The public (and the government) only know of Chinese incursions if it happens in known places like Tawang. When incidents happen in more remote places, it does not come to the notice of the general public. The army keeps it secret. They won't let the people know what actually happened.
In one place in Tawang district, some villagers were in possession of rice and grain supplied by the Chinese authorities. When these Monpa tribals were asked they took Chinese help, they answered: "Well, we have not been supplied with essential commodities from the Indian side. To survive we had no other choice but to accept what the Chinese offered." This shows that the government is not doing enough for the development of the border areas.
But the real issue is that India after 1962 adopted a secret policy not to develop the border areas. The idea behind it is that if we develop the border areas, the Chinese can easily use these facilities in the event of a war. It is a wrong policy. It means that we are in a defensive mode, we have no confidence in our army. This encourages the Chinese. We have to be confident in our own policies. Our demand has been that we should connect all the border areas right to the McMahon Line by a road network.
Do you think that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] visit to Arunachal, though he did not visit Tawang, opened the eyes of the government?
The government is now realising the hard realities, but it is still committing the same mistake. Why did the PM avoid Tawang? By not going, he has given some leverage to the Chinese who can say 'he has not gone to Tawang, because it is a disputed territory'. It is an acknowledgement that it is disputed, while in fact it is not. The PM's decision gives justification to Chinese claims and encourages them.
When they found out that the PM was going to Itanagar only, the Chinese knew that their pressure tactics had worked. Arunachal is the only issue which has a potential for conflict between India and China. If ever, India and China go to war one day, it will be on this issue.
Do not forget that Arunachal is (potentially) the richest state in India. About 30 percent of the power will come from Arunachal alone. Arunachal has petroleum; gas, minerals, and the largest forested area in India. Arunachal has great water resources. India is going to face a water shortage. Our state has a great potential, it is going to be the richest state in India in 15 years. The Chinese know this.
What if the Chinese divert the Brahmaputra river?
It will be only on the Siang (Brahmaputra) which represents only 25 percent of the waters of the state. Most of rivers flow from the Arunachal side of the McMahon Line which is the dividing line on the top of the ridge. All the rivers which originate from the Indian side flow towards India and cannot be diverted. Their flow increases in Arunachal.
The Chinese have built a new airport in Nyintri district in Tibet, just north of the McMahon line.
This airport is very close to Arunachal. On the belt along the Brahmaputra (Tsangpo) river, towards Arunachal, particularly from Tsona (north of Tawang) to the Yunnan province (of China), the Chinese have built adequate infrastructure with many airports. Further, the Golmund-Lhasa railway line will be soon extended till Shigatse (Southern Tibet), it should be completed next year.
They announced it for 2010?
But Chinese are always able to complete their projects before schedule. They will reach Shigatse in 2009 and then, turn eastwards following the Tsangpo basin towards Tsona. Once it reaches Tsona, we will have a massive deployment of military hardware, right on the Arunachal border.
There is already a full deployment in Tibet, including nuclear weapons. In fact till 2005, they could not move heavy military equipment due to bad roads. The railway connectivity has dramatically changed the geopolitics of Tibet.
India's plan to counter this move is not enough. The recent package for a trans-Arunachal road which will cost Rs 6,000 crore or Rs 7,000 crore only connects the lower districts of Arunachal. Nowhere will this touch the McMahon Line.
I have written to the prime minister asking him to make sure that the road connectivity touches all the border areas. Otherwise, it will not serve the (defence) purpose. From the package announced by the prime minister, all border points will be five or six days by foot.
How can military personnel take care of our borders when they have to walk five or six days with arms and ammunition? I am honestly admitting that we are not prepared.
It was also admitted by A K Antony during a recent visit to Sikkim.
Yes, he admitted it and I have said it in Parliament for so many years. For years, the government denied it. Now they have accepted my point. The question remains 'What have you done so far (to solve it)?' I would like also to mention that the people of Arunachal are very patriotic; it is a positive point. It is the same thing in Ladakh and other hilly areas. We are honest, patriotic and nationalist people.
The Centre today undermines the peaceful nature of these people. It may be very explosive and costly for the country if this situation goes on and if the people of the Himalayas who act as sentries for the nation, are ignored.
The negative policy of the Centre should be reversed; the passive attitude should become active.
Is there some understanding in the government?
I am telling them: "Don't fear China, just do your job. Help the people of border areas with roads, schools, hospitals, telecom facilities." This is the solution. We do not want a war with China.
Arunachal should not be the bone of contention between India and China, it should be the bridge. We have five traditional border posts with China (Tibet), it should be reopened. There should be more people to people contact.
Some ten years back I visited Arunachal. At that time, there was talk of opening the Bumla Pass for trade. What is the position today?
Today there is a fear psychosis vis-a-vis China. India wants only sea trade with China. India thinks that if we have a land trade relations, Chinese goods will flood the Indian market. Look at Nathu-la (in Sikkim), it was opened two years back, nothing happened. We have to increase the volume of trade. Even in the case of Nathu-la, India curtailed the process by not putting in place adequate infrastructure.
On the Chinese side, there is good infrastructure, on our side, there is very little. It means that India is not interested in border trade. These are negative policies which have to be reversed.
The problem is that India is obsessed with America. All the brains of the ministry of external affairs and the think-thanks in India are obsessed with two countries only: The US and Pakistan. How many people know about China, whether it is in the defence or intelligence fields? India does not understand what China is.
Is this changing?
It is changing in rhetoric only, not substantially. I was accused of being obsessed with two countries only. Why should we pay so much attention to Pakistan, a small neighbour? Just forget it! We can just have normal relations with them. What is the point of spending so much time, energy and brains on (this country).
In India, all parties except the Communists are in favour of a strategic partnership with the US to contain China. It is fine, but on the other hand, we are not brave enough to tell China what are our sovereign rights. On one side we are appeasing China, on the other side we want to contain them. Our policy is without any clear direction.
Now, India speaks about 'looking east', for closer relations with other Asian countries, but we remain obsessed with the US. Our ties with the US should not hamper our relations with China.
If we don't know about our adversary, we can't face it. You have to know their strength, their weakness, their plans, if we don't know this, how can we deal with them?
Let us continue to have good relations with the US. But why be obsessed with them? While news in Washington or Lahore [Images] make headlines here, nobody knows about the border areas. Ask any Union minister or Member of Parliament, where is Tsona (the Chinese town/district headquarters north of Tawang), nobody knows.
We should realise that if we lose Arunachal, we can forget about Kashmir. Look at the map of Jammu and Kashmir [Images]. Half is not in our possession (Aksai Chin, Azad Kashmir, etc). Within the other half, half is Ladakh and one third Jammu. What is left is an 80 km valley between Anantnag and Baramulla. But this small territory (12 percent of the state), but it takes all the energies of the politicians and our resources. For, 60 years our minds have been devoted to this small area.
At the same time, it is very unfortunate that a state of 84,000 sq km with the potential to provide 30 percent of the nation's energy is today ignored. It is unfortunate and it frustrates our youth. Don't forget that Kashmir is claimed by a small country which does not economically or militarily match India, while Arunachal is claimed by a nation far superior to India.
It is time to wake up. Once you lose Arunachal, you can forget Kashmir. If Arunachal goes, the damage will be irreparable.
The people of India need to know the reality on the ground, they need to know China, the Himalayan region, the northeast and Arunachal. The rest of India does not pose any challenge for the nation. Unless we know what China is, India is not safe.
In India today, politicians and journalists seem confused. They don't understand the background of the border issue.
India says it has a problem constructing roads to the border, but in 1962, the Chinese manually built roads (in Arunachal). In three weeks, they built 30 km of roads south of the McMahon Line. The British left us with some roads and a railway network. We have not able to expand it after Independence. Take the railway line in Assam, it was there in the British times, nothing new has been built for 60 years. Same thing in Darjeeling, Simla or Ooty!
Today, we are not asking India to built railway lines at altitude of 15,000 feet like the Chinese have done (in Tibet), but at least they should do it to the altitude of 4,000 or 5,000 feet.
I am very disappointed with our successive Union governments. Any party that comes to power is a complete disaster for the Himalayan belt, especially for Arunachal.
I was told that if you make an ISD call from Tawang, the person who receives the call abroad sees the code of China on his phone. Can you confirm this?
It happens not only in Tawang, but also on the Bangladesh border, in Meghalaya. There you use the Bangladesh network, since BSNL is not there. The problem is that there are too many restrictions in India. It is what I call negative policies not to develop border areas. So there are no roads, no mobile phones, no televisions, no infrastructure. This is the mindset of our country.
On the Chinese side of the border you have this airport which will receive 5,000 tourists a day to visit the gorges of the Brahmaputra and on the Indian side you have a drastic 'Inner Line Permit system'. What are your comments?
We have too many restrictions, it is unnecessary. We should open up. It shows a lack of confidence.
Do you think that the young generation of parliamentarians or bureaucrats can change this mindset?
As a Member of Parliament, I have done enough, I have tried everything, but the response is not enough. Before I came to Parliament, my predecessors were silent. As you know Parliament is a very noisy place.
Usually people from the northeast are calm, gentle, but I am of a different breed. I speak, shout, come down to the well (of the House), I make my point. Now people know about Arunachal, but what the government does is another thing. They are too busy with political problems, which are not national problems. It is eating the mind of the leaders and the real issues remain unsolved, unattended.

Source: REDIFF

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Focus: Arunachal Pradesh

A people off the map

Deepak K. Singh

Posted online: Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 2301 hrs IST

The sudden outburst of Tapin Gao, the BJP MP from Arunachal Pradesh in Parliament, over the complete absence of the railway network in the state speaks of a deeper malaise than meets the blinking eye. He hinted that the people of Arunachal can look across the border if India continues to feel jittery even after 60 years of independence in owning up the region and its indigenous peoples. It would be a gross misreading to perceive his reaction as a mere craving for a slice of the developmental cake. Particularly so, when Gao’s outpouring is viewed in the context of the recent announcement of the biggest ever economic package worth Rs 10,000 crore for the state by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his maiden visit to the state.

The roots of the problem go deep into history. While NEFA (North East Frontier Agency) was treated as a colonial outpost by the British rule on grounds of economic un-viability, its status under the postcolonial dispensation has been no better than that of a periphery, albeit with a short interregnum of the Nehru-Elwin philosophy which was premised on the assumption that the people must be allowed to develop in line with their own genius. That philosophy of ‘make haste slowly’ was, however, swiftly dumped in the aftermath of the 1962 debacle at the hands of the Chinese, leading to a shortlived frenzy of road-building and development work in NEFA.

The nature and extent of the historic isolation of the frontier region can be gleaned from the fact that the attainment of freedom in 1947 did not evoke any enthusiasm or euphoria here, as the people had little conception of what this entity called India was. The popular reaction in NEFA during the war with China was characterised by widespread ambiguity and ambivalence. Rustomji, the then advisor to the governor of Assam, who was directly involved in appraising the people of the stand of the government and its armed forces, found himself caught in a tricky situation.

On the one hand, the Indian Army was abandoning its positions, and on the other, a volley of questions was being thrown at him by the native people about the government’s stand. He had noted the public reaction thus: “If the administration was not prepared to defend them at this time of need, they more than hinted that they had better dissociate themselves from it right away and revert to their traditional isolation”.

Given the prolonged history of isolation and marginalisation from the mainstream, thus, Gao’s suggestion that Arunachal could look beyond the border must be seen as a crie du coeur. Mere transplantation of modern administrative structures might help in extending cosmetic suzerainty over a frontier region in the short run, but will definitely not help in winning unconditional loyalty towards the Indian nation.

What is most disturbing about the ongoing controversy over the status of Arunachal is the fact that while both China and India continue to make claims over the region, the views of the native indigenous peoples of Arunachal are never sought nor accounted for. It is the territory issue alone that enjoys a privileged position both in official accounts and popular coverage of the issue. While New Delhi seems to be now pushing the ‘package deal’ solution, — that is, swapping India’s claims in the western sector (Aksai Chin) for China’s in the eastern sector (Arunachal Pradesh) though it had rejected this twice in the past in 1960 and 1980 — the need for involving the people or at least the elected state government is never given due consideration.

Now it is Beijing’s turn to hang tough, as it is pressing its claims to the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh. Even after reassurances by the prime minister himself that there is no dispute over the status of the state, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu recently admitted to the prevalence of widespread apprehension in the minds of the people about China and its intention.

More official pronouncements from the South Block that ‘Arunachal is an integral part of India’ will not do. What will also not do is a mere ‘development push’ to the state. As far as the Indian state is concerned, development packages are also an extension of the logic of national security. There is an urgent need to go beyond the ‘national security’ discourse that privileges the borderland and not the borderlanders.

The lens of ‘national security’ is not sensitive enough to zoom in onto the people. It gets terribly out of focus before reaching them. It can only see the region as composed of strange and unknowable cultures and peoples, who are, from such a perspective, somewhat off the map. This has never worked, and will simply not work in the future as well.

The writer teaches political science in Panjab University. He is currently working on a book on the Chakma refugee issue in Arunachal Pradesh


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bangladeshi terror suspect shot dead in Mumbai

Two suspected terrorists shot dead in Mumbai
11 Mar 2008, 2316 hrs IST,PTI

MUMBAI: Two suspected terrorists, including a Bangladeshi, were gunned down by Maharashtra's Anti- Terrorist Squad (ATS) in neighbouring Thane district late on Tuesday evening. The exchange of fire took place in Kashimira area.

"Explosive material, suspected to be lethal RDX, fake currency in lakhs, and two firearms were seized from the duo," a senior ATS official said.

A Bangladeshi passport was recovered from one of the deceased identifying him as Mohammed Ali. The identity of his accomplice was not immediately known, but the ATS suspects he too hails from the neighbouring country, he said.

Will illegal migrants outnumber the people of North East in 20 years?

KanglaOnline K-Special

Oken Jeet Sandham

If Assam Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Ajay Singh's statement that about 6000 illegal Bangladeshis are entering Assam daily is correct, then the fate of the north-east people are terribly at stake.

If 6000 illegal Bangladeshis infiltrate into Assam daily, it will be 1, 80,000 Bangladeshis in a month and 21.6 lakh annually. The State will have 21.6 million illegal Bangladeshis by 2015, outnumbering the entire population of the region excluding Assam and the whole northeast will be reduced to a minority in 20 years time.

The complexity involved here is that this country has over 100 million genuine Indian Muslims, about one-fifth of the whole population. Besides the Government has earlier estimated 20 million illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in India.

Though there are no official figures of actual numbers of Bangladeshis in Assam, locals say their population could be 6 million of the State's 26 million people. This means a little over one-fourth of the State's population is Bangladeshi immigrants.

And the State alone produces over one-third Bangladeshi immigrants in the country. Although Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi rejects the Governor's seemingly inflated claim, the fact is the illegal immigrants from across the international border have been infiltrating into the State unabated over the years. The Chief Minister while talking to press in Guwahati however admitted that infiltration from Bangladesh had not stopped. Effective steps have been taken to check infiltration, Gogoi said. Anybody found crossing the border is pushed back and those entered after March 25, 1971, as per the Assam Accord would be detected and deported. It may be mentioned that the powerful All Assam Students Union (ASSU) had launched a bloody campaign to push Bangladeshis back to their land. Indigenous people who feared they would be reduced to a minority in their own land massacred thousands of Bangladeshis, including women and children, across the State.

The Government and the Students Union signed a pact in 1985, but clauses on the deportation of foreigners have still not been implemented. Though there are genuine Assamese Muslims and mainland Muslims, the present influx of illegal Bangladeshis in the State has not only affected the demography of the State but also the entire region, leading to serious threat to the survival of the region's people and the country's internal security as well.

Tripura is a gone case and Nagaland is the next target because large number of these Muslims has been swarming the State. In the last few years, there is a dramatic change in the socio-economic feature of the State. The lack of work culture, easy money, easy life style, etc are the main causes that these Muslims mostly coming from Assam have taken opportunities to stay in Nagaland. All the manual works, construction of houses, taxi driving, rickshaw pulling and cultivation are mostly done by these Muslims today. They also run almost half of the shops in Dimapur, the biggest commercial hub of the State and the capital, Kohima.

But historically speaking, the people of Nagaland do not have any connection whatsoever with the Muslim community---be it mainland Muslim or Bangladeshi Muslim and Assamese Muslims.

However, Manipur has its Muslim communities who had come there in the middle of the 16th century. It was recorded in the history that large number of Muslims started entering Manipur from Sylhet in the 17th century during the reign of King Khagemba (1597-1652) at the invitation of Prince Sadongba. Prince Sadongba had planned to dethrone his brother King Khagenmba with the help of these Muslims.

In many wars in the past, Manipur Kings used the services of Muslim soldiers who were considered skilled fighters. In King Pamheiba's period in 18th century, Muslim soldiers in Manipur defended the combined attacked of Burma and Tripura. Many Muslim soldiers also lost their lives when Manipur suffered in the hands of the Burmese in 1758 Burmese-Manipur war. In the famous Seven-year-devastation of Manipur from 1819 to 1826, the Burmese soldiers had taken many Muslims to Burma while many escaped to Assam and Bangladesh. Even when the British defeated Manipur in 1891, many Muslim soldiers were also killed and some were deported toAndaman and Nicobar Islands.

But the Bangladesh Muslims mostly coming via Assam in recent times could not attempt to settle in Manipur despite Manipur Muslims are there. Because these illegal Bangladeshis are mostly economic-driven people and will have least chance to do the lowest paid jobs in Manipur. One will find how all the odd manual works are done by the Manipuris in Imphal city. One will find hardly any Bangladeshi Muslim used for any job in the State.

However, the logic in argument is that most of the Muslims in Nagaland or Assam or Arunachal Pradesh or Tripura or Meghalya are not mostly from mainland India. 95% of Muslims in Nagaland are coming from Assam claiming to be the bona fide citizens of that State (Assam). If the size of the Muslim population in Nagaland is from Assam and not from mainland India, then the matter is questionable. How can Assam have such a huge Muslim population spilling over into other parts of the region unless coming from across the international border?

The long stretch of Assam forest bordering Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh has over the years disappeared and been systematically occupied by the illegal immigrants. The trouble is most of these illegal settlers are well equipped with valid land holding documents issued by the Assam administrations. Sources say most of the State's reserved forest in the border areas has vanished and its now settled by the illegal immigrants and not by the real Assamese people. The Nagaland Government often alleges that these illegal immigrants have even occupied the Disputed Area Belt (DAB) that leads to frequent border skirmishes.

Various intelligence agencies have been warning of serious consequences if immediate attention is not paid. Unfortunately, these illegal migrants have been given legal protection with resident certificates, pattas, etc for narrow political mileage. As a result, the real Assamese people have been reduced to minority in most of the border districts and they are now voiceless.

The recent exodus of Bangladeshi suspects from upper Assam following threats through SMS and leaflets by some unidentified people is evident of the illegal Bangladeshis presence.
Region's economic underdevelopment coupled with Centre's prolonged negligence and the continuous insurgency and the chasm that existed between the people of the region and the mainland people are some of the reasons that have given room to the illegal immigrants and outside elements to exploit maximum advantages.

There is certainly genuine mainland Muslims in the region like Tamils, Keralites, Bengalis, Punjabis, Marwaris, etc. But the mainland Muslims will have least interest to come and settle in the region and their influx is out of question.

Whether the Assam Governor's statement on the infiltration of illegal Bangladeshis into Assam is exaggerated or not, the Chief Minister has also admitted that there is still infiltration of illegal Bangladeshis into the State.

The illegal Bangladeshi infiltration into Assam and elsewhere in the region has changed its (region) demography and now it has become a serious threat to the future survival of the region's people and also the internal security problem for the nation.

To identify the illegal Bangladeshis will not be very difficult once the citizens are properly educated about their natures. Assam has larger role to solve the illegal immigrant issues and the actions taken there will have maximum impact in other parts of the region.

So long, illegal immigrant issue of Assam remains unresolved; there is no point for other States in the region to think of. Because most of these supposed to be illegal migrants who are coming to other States of the region are well equipped with domicile certificates issued by Assam administrations.


Islamic Outrage in Howrah - West Bengal

Howrah row turns communal

HOWRAH: A petty clash between traders and local rowdies at night spiralled into a communal flare-up at Howrah's Panchla market on Monday morning. More than 40 shops and a few houses were gutted as a mob went around setting them on fire.

District magistrate Khalil Ahmed, who reached the spot to defuse tension, was injured. So were 25 policemen. With the situation spinning out of control, the Rapid Action Force (RAF) stepped in and lathicharged the troublemakers away. Section 144 has been clamped in the area.

The administration pointed to the presence of a large number of outsiders, mostly anti-socials, in the mob. "Panchla has always been a sensitive area. But this time, some outsiders made it worse. We have spotted them. They are mostly anti-socials brought in to add fuel to the fire," the district magistrate said.

IG (law and order) Raj Kanojia said: "There seems to be some conspiracy in the way things flared up. It was a small problem and there was no reason why it should have taken this turn. We believe a small group was responsible for the trouble."

On Sunday night, Nasiruddin Mullick and some local youths went to Swarnadeep, a jewellery shop, and demanded money against a gold chain offered as mortgage. Shopowner Ashish Parui refused, saying the chain was fake. An altercation followed and Parui roughed up Nasiruddin. The other shopkeepers then ganged up to drive away the locals.

Police rounded up Parui on Sunday night to defuse tension, but that didn't help. The next morning, the locals returned in huge numbers. They beat up the traders, ransacked shops, looted materials and torched shops. Parui's shop was the first to be set on fire. When the traders started pelting stones, the mob retaliated by hurling bombs. "I was on my way to office. I got stuck because the miscreants were throwing bombs. I fled from the spot," said Swapan Bodak, who witnessed the violence.


Sunday, March 9, 2008


Najrul Islam Gharami, active member of the action squad of Harkat-ul-Jehadi-Islami[HUJI],was nabbed by Bangladesh police from his residence at Shimulia village of Satkhira subdivision, adjacent to Hasnabad-Taki region of Bangladesh. He was acting as a key conduit between Hasnabad and Satkhira sector of HUJI. CBI came to know the motive of smuggling of huge cache of arms and ammunition to Bangalore and Bombay by trucks carrying fish. He took active role in the bomb blast cases in Bombay, Hyderabad and Uttar Pradesh. He had smuggled illegal arms to West Bengal by way of boats across the Bangladesh Rivers.

On 15.02.08 night, the soldiers of the 6th division of Rapid Action Battalion [RAB] of Bangladesh has caught him red-handed from his village Simulia under Debhatha thana. He had with him huge cache of arms including RDX, 41 hand grenade, rifles, revolvers and large number of bullets manufactured in Pakistan. He was also involved with the heinous attack on Sheikh Hasina, Awami League President on 21st August, 2004. Intelligence Bureau sleuths reported that he used the same arms at that time also. According to CBI’s latest report: ISI engaged Tajuddin, one active member of Lasker-e-Toiba to deliver the consignment to Najrul. Tajuddin was involved in pelting grenade at Sheikh Hasina’s meeting in 2004. Tajuddin’s elder brother Abdus Salam Pintu, once a state minister of Khaleda Zia’s government was also involved in the same cases and now is languishing in jail in Bangladesh.

After the arrest of self-styled commander-in-chief of the HUJI module active in Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal, also known as Mufti Mainuddin alias Abu Jandal alias Masum Billa, CBI has come to know from the interrogation that this arms trafficking is going on for many years across the Bangldesh border at Hasnabad, Basirhat and Swarupnagar. Billa was nabbed by RAB on 14.02.08 night from his village Banirchala near Jaidebpur, Dhaka.He took active participation in Lumbini park and Bombay local train blast cases, Hyderabad Mecca Masjid and Utter Pradesh Session Judge’s court bomb blast cases also which took many innocents’ life.

sent by Prokash Das
Executive Director, East India Watch


Indian intelligence has come to know that notorious criminals of Bangladesh have settled in West Bengal and are indulging in nefarious activities. They are engaged in extortion by terrorizing businessman, industrialists, film-stars and quite a few politicians. At least 25 such extortionists are operating in Kolkata, 24 Parganas North, Nadia, Murshidabad and Jalpaiguri district minting crores of rupees among these history sheeters are activist of Huji-J M b as also different criminals accused by Bangladesh.

Among the allies of the Bangladeshi terrorist nexus based in West Bengal are two councilors of Dhaka Municipal Corporation Chowdhury Alam and Manoara Husain. Tanirul Islam, known as Daud Ibrahim of Bangladesh, was arrested from a well furnished posh flat in Kolkata. The authorities concerned in the court of West Bengal did not bother about Bangladeshi infiltrators prior to 9/11. Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee pointed out in the past the mushrooming of Madrasas in the border districts of West Bengal has become the landing platform for terrorists. The incidents of subversion which occurred in the last few year in India are all linked to WB. This has been reiterated by the central intelligentsia try and again.

The police force in this state is neither sincere in their attempts to arrest Bangladeshi terrorists, nor interested in taking any initiative in raiding the hideouts of Bangladeshi terrorists. They have established their dens in Free School street, New Market, Jakaria Street, Markuise Street, etc. in Kolkata. Is it credible that the central intelligentsia agencies know this while the police forces of WB are unaware? Is the police force of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjees not arresting the Bangladeshi criminal keeping in mind the politics of minority vote bank?

sent by Prokash Das
Executive Director, East India Watch

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Muslim Law Board demands ouster of Taslima

Sunday, 02 March , 2008, 20:28

Kolkata: Demanding ouster of controversial writer Taslima Nasreen, the All India Minority Forum today accused the government of trying to protect her though she has hurt sentiments of Muslims in the country.

"Taslima has not only hurt the sentiments of Muslims, but she has defamed the Indian Constitution. The government should not extend her visa and she should move out of this country immediately," president of the Forum Idris Ali told a rally organised by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

Nearly 500 delegates from all over the country spoke in the open session in front of 1.5 lakh people gathered to hear them after the completion of the two-day all India seminar organised by the Board after a gap of 23 years in the city.

Some speakers emphasised the need to preserve the Shariat law which, they maintain, only can preserve the identity of the Muslims in general.

"There has been several attacks against the Muslim personal law. This is not at all desirable. The Muslims in this country have their own identity and that can only be preserved by the law framed according to Holy Koran," assistant general secretary of the Board Md Abdur Raheem Quraishi said.

Huge Quantities of Explosives Recovered from Islamic Activists in Hili in North Bengal

Huge Quantities of Explosives Recovered from Islamic Activists in Hili in North Bengal

A huge quantity of explosives was recovered by the BSF from a village in the border district. The police with the BSF recovered this explosive from Nicha Gobindapur along the Hili border in a joint operation. Panic has gripped the resident of the villages following this incident. The quantity explosives seized weighs one quintal. The accused are all members of an Islamic group. The police arrested a woman named Soleya Bibi while the land lords Jiaur Mondal and Golap Mondal are absconding. According to a BSF officer, the explosives are illegally acquired from Bangladesh and stocked in that house for use in different terrorist activity’s in various places of the country.

Reported by Prokash of East India Watch in Kolkata