On Friday, locals in Barhampur that falls under Nagaon district of Assam were taken aback when reports emerged of suspected Bangladeshi foreigners arriving to settle in the area along with their livestock and other belongings.
Upon investigation, it was found that the suspected foreigners had come to Nagaon along with several cattleheads and even full-grown banana trees. Videographic footage shows that they had even brought solar panels for energy purposes.
Needless to say, the presence of the 'foreigners' along with bag and baggage in the region caused a hue-and-cry in the region, and locals soon gathered at the location.
A person from Nagaon, under condition of anonymity, told Inside Northeast, "This is how Bangladeshis infiltrate and are in the process of turning 115 ethnic communities into a minority in Assam and this video is from Berhampur in middle Assam, Nagaon district which’s already migrant majority."
"This is a group of 10 families encroaching upon a reserve and caught by local indigenous. But their strategy is so well crafted", our source added.
"Within hours of coming, they’re able to install a hut, a water pump and to show long period of occupancy, a full grown banana tree, betel tree etc along with solar panels etc. Within hours they’ll set up a habitation, which will seem like it has been for years", the source said, adding, "in a couple of weeks they’ll be joined by another 100 households making them an important number to be patronised by the local politicians to enrolled as voters and then they become indigenous."
"Then, in a few years when they’re about 30% of local population, will start petty crimes of crop, livestock, homestead thefts of local populations which will the gradually start selling their land and will escalate to rapes of women, which will then force locals to leave", the source forewarned.
It may be mentioned here that the widespread, sometimes violent, protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Assam has to be read against the backdrop of what people in the Northeast fear most—loss of identity, jobs, resources. The common enemy is the “illegal immigrant”—a loaded word that carries political and social undertones.
Support Inside Northeast (InsideNE), an independent media platform that focuses on Citizen-centric stories from Northeast India that are surprising, inspiring, cinematic and emotionally relevant.
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today