Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday has once again expressed her angst over the NRC-related suicides in Assam.
While addressing an administrative review meeting in Cooch Behar district, which shares its borders with Assam, Banerjee said, “The reports of people committing suicide because their names were missing from the National Register for Citizens (NRC) list are unfortunate. We love the people from Assam and Bengal. We never discriminate as we are neighbours. I am saddened. Aren’t you?”
Attacking the mechanism of the NRC list, the CM alleged, “How come the name of one person in the family is missing, but not of his wife and children? This drove him to commit suicide.
Coming down heavily on the BJP, she accused the party of “instigating” the people of Bengal and trampling on the harmony of the state. “We will not let this happen.”
This is not the first time that the CM has targeted the BJP over its “destructive policy” of NRC in Assam. Besides calling it a divisive policy, Banerjee has persistently blasted out on the BJP for its “specific targeted isolation of the Bengalis”.
“Not just Muslims, but Hindus with Bengali surnames are also being targeted specifically. Even Biharis are being targeted. Since Bengal shares a border with Assam, our state will also have to bear the brunt of it,” she said.
Emphasising on the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Bengalis, Banerjee claimed that the people ousted from the NRC draft are citizens of India who have been living in Assam for generations.
“Unlike the case of Rohingya, they are people of our own country. This is totally divisive politics and thanks to the Assam and central government, a full-fledged ‘Bangali- khedao’ (drive out the Bengalis) movement is going on in Assam,” she asserted.
Regarding the issue of India-Bangladesh enclaves, she urged the Cooch Behar district administration to finish the process of handing over the land rights documents to the enclave dwellers at the earliest. “If there are any legal complications make an ordinance,” she added.
In 2015, a Land Bill Agreement was signed between India and Bangladesh, which had resulted in 111 Indian enclaves with a territory of 17,160 acres being transferred to Bangladesh. On the contrary, India received 51 enclaves from Bangladesh with 7,110 acres of land territory.
The 51 enclaves are spread across Dinhata, Mekhliganj, Sitai, Sitalkuchi and Toofanganj assembly constituencies. The largest enclave transferred to India is Poatur Kuthi located in Cooch Behar district with 3,037 residents.