27 January, 2021

The Alien Dilemma

As Gowda promises to repeal the Migrants’ Act, the state’s minorities fear for their future

The Alien Dilemma

PRIME Minister H.D. Deve Gowda’s recent visit to the North-east appears to have left behind a trail of misunderstandings—especially about the contentious migrants’ issue in Assam. Gowda told the media that the Government was considering repealing the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act (IMDT), 1983. The statement sent an uneasy message to minorities and several political parties, including the Congress.

In a state which has witnessed the highest percentage of illegal migration, largely from neighbouring Bangladesh, Gowda invited trouble as soon as he categorically told a delegation of the All-Assam Students’ Union (AASU) that "the act will be repealed soon". At another press conference, Gowda said: "Existing laws for the detection of foreigners, such as IMDT, have not proved to be effective. We will take steps to repeal the ineffective laws and strengthen the legal and administrative measures for dealing with foreigners in consultation with the states."

The AASU and its...



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