Kokrajhar, Sept. 14: Protests against illegal migrants further intensified in Bodo heartland Kokrajhar as over 20,000 people braved incessant rain since morning and participated in a march.
Consisting of students, guardians and others, the protesters carried banners and placards demanding illegal migrants be sent back.
The procession started from Kokrajhar District Sports Association (KDSA) ground and wended its way through Gurudev Kalicharan road, RNB Road, Civil Line, Santinagar-Vivekananda Path, Jwhwlao Dwimalu Road and Tengapara before culminating into a meeting at the starting point.
Organisations like the All Assam Students' Union (AASU), All Rabha Students Union (Arsu), All Koch Rajbongsi Students Union, All Assam Gorkha Students Union, All Assam Tribal Sangha, Tribal Youth League participated in the rally.
Addressing the gathering, AASU adviser Sammujal Bhattacharyya criticised the successive governments over the failure in implementing the Assam Accord and said the chief minister should declare that all illegal migrants should leave the state.
Demanding that the government should update the NRC before the 2014 general elections, Bhattacharyya said, "The existence of the indigenous people are threatened in Assam by the illegal migrants." He questioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on what steps he (PM) would take to protect the indigenous people of Assam and demanded constitutional safeguards for them.
Absu president Pramode Boro said rehabilitation should not be done in a hurry to avoid mistakes that may again lead to another tragedy.
He urged the government to prepare modalities before the rehabilitation process and assure that no illegal migrant is rehabilitated. The Absu leader said the government should not only think of law and order but also take civil society into confidence before the rehabilitation.
The union demanded that no Bangladeshi national should be rehabilitated but only genuinely bonafide Indian citizens by verifying and making proper scrutiny of the inmates on the basis of land documents taking 1971 as base year, update NRC, ensure protection of the tribal belt and block by implementing Chapter X of the Assam Land and Revenue Regulation Act, 1886.
AASU president Sankar Prasad Ray, general secretary Tapan Gogoi, Absu adviser Rwngwra Narzary, AAGSU president Kesab Sarma and Arsu president Ramen Singh Rabha were also present and addressed the gathering.
In Dhubri, Kurimal Islam, 22, of Howrarpar village under Dhubri police station was picked up with a gun of .22 bore in an operation by the army and police around midnight last night.
A police source said Islam was being interrogated but was yet to be arrested.
The AASU's Dhubri district unit submitted a memorandum to the Dhubri deputy commissioner demanding arrest of the burglars for stealing from the temple on RK Mission Road and descrating the idol of goddess Kali.