Tue, Dec 6, 2016 | updated 06:23 AM IST

Give Bengali-Hindu migrants refugee status, says Sarma

Updated: Nov 16, 2016 08:25 IST
Agartala (Tripura) [India], Nov. 16 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party leader and convener of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma has recently said that the Bengali-Hindu population who are victims of partition should be granted citizenship or refugee status throughout India.

He, however, made it clear that the Assamese should get protection under Clause VI of the Assam Accord to protect and preserve their cultural, heritage and existence.

"Our country was divided on religious lines so Hindus never wanted to be citizens of Pakistan; they were forced to become citizens of Pakistan. So, if somebody had migrated out of religious persecution, and not only Hindu, even Christian, Sikh, Persian anybody, and if they have been persecuted, and they have come to our country, then we have to give them their due," he said.

"At the same time as far the people of Assam are concerned, we also need protection because we have to make sure that our land, our identity and our culture remains intact. So, yesterday our national general secretary of the BJP he started a new deliberation with the people of Assam on how to take both issues hand-in-hand. You give citizenship or refugee status to the Bengali Hindu population not only in Assam but at the same time give political, constitutional and administrative save guard to the indigenous people of Assam," he added.

The BJP leader, however, avoided speaking on what would be the fate of the migrant Muslim population in Assam.

Assam has been one state where the issue of illegal migrants from Bangladesh is a burning issue for the last few decades. (ANI)