This time, all Bengalis in the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya have started claiming to be ‘Bangladeshi’. The Khasi Student Organization (KSU) has made such a demand. This has spread new tension there.That controversial banner in Shillong. Image: Anandbazar

A large taxi driver was killed in a scuffle with local villagers in February in Ichamati, Meghalaya, in protest against India’s anti-Muslim citizenship law (CAA). It is alleged that he had to leave the village for fear of local Bengalis. Police arrested several people in this incident. HNLC, a militant group in Meghalaya, also threatened Bengalis to leave the state.

Recently, it was alleged that Ichamati’s men were still not allowed to return to the village and conduct business. Women and children are being harassed in the village. The National Commission for Women called the state for a report. But the investigation and the statements of the local villagers did not prove outrage. We, Barak’s Bengali organization, have joined the CRPC movement on this issue. All India Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev has also spoken out against the oppression of Bengalis in Meghalaya. He has complained to the government about the matter.

On Tuesday, the Committee for the Protection of Civil Rights and Us Bengalis staged protests along the Assam-Meghalaya border. Hundreds of people went to Malidhar in Cachar district and shouted slogans to the Meghalaya government for the protection of Bengali speakers. Youth Congress members staged a sit-in at Katihar.

Representatives of Bengali organizations complained in a memorandum to the Governor of Meghalaya that the police, judiciary, administration, student organizations, militants – all united against Bengalis.

After that, on Wednesday, KSU put up a poster saying that all Bengalis in Meghalaya are Bangladeshi. It is written somewhere, ‘Stop persecution in Bangladeshis, Meghalaya, Tripura, Assam and Mizoram.’ Sushmita Dev was not even warned to smell about Meghalaya. Sushmita Devi tweeted a picture of the poster with the Prime Minister and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma. He wrote,, persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh is a far cry, such a banner in Meghalaya! What other evidence is there for the oppression of Bengalis in their motherland? ‘

The state government has said that communal or linguistic divisions are never desirable.

Meghalaya Home Minister Laxman Rimbui said on Wednesday, “Looking at the elections in Bengal and Assam, Sushmita Dev is trying to create a sudden controversy by using the Bengalis of Meghalaya.” This will not be good for anyone. ‘

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said, “We are talking to Khasi and Bengali organizations, so that the situation does not deteriorate.” Negotiations are also taking place with the Center. ‘

Note that the issue of ‘Bangladeshi’ is not new in Indian politics. In early 2019, BJP leader and current Indian Home Minister Amit Shah called the alleged infiltrators (Bengali-speaking Muslims) “termites”. He said that the intruders were like termites in Bengal. The BJP government will pick them up one by one and throw them into the Bay of Bengal.

In his speech, Amit Shah described illegal Muslim migrants as Bangladeshi. Earlier in September 2016, Amit Shah also termed Muslim migrants as termites. He said at a party rally at the time that “illegal Bangladeshis” in India would be identified and expelled one by one. Source: Anandbazar

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