Former GOC, Let. General ( Retd) D B Shekhatkar, of 4th Corps based at Tezpur, Assam has opined that, there are chances that by 2018, there would be new separation demand from India if the illegal immigration continues from Bangladesh.
If the problem of infiltration of foreign nationals to Assam is not checked, India may face a fresh demand for separation within the next few years, observed the Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS), a non-government organization comprising prominent citizens including senior retired government officials.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, the president of the Forum, Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekhatkar, a former GOC of the 4 Corps of the Army, said that a two-day meeting of the Forum concluded in Baroda yesterday, where among other issues concerning the security of the nation, the problem of infiltration was discussed in detail.
The Forum observed with dismay that over the years, infiltration of foreigners changed the demographic pattern of some districts of Assam and if the trend continues, the day will not be far when India will face a fresh demand for separation. Lt Gen Shekhatkar himself is of the view that if infiltration is allowed to continue unabated, a fresh demand for separation would come by the year 2018.
The Forum decided to hold a seminar in Guwahati later this year not only to make the people aware of the dangers of infiltration but also to take the views of the prominent personalities of the region so that “we can offer concrete suggestions to the Government to deal with the problem. We are of the view that protecting the security of the nation is not only the duty of the Government and the Army but the citizens should also play their part. That is why we are trying to come up with concrete suggestions to deal with the problem of infiltration rather than merely criticizing the Government for its failure to deal with the problem.”
The Forum president said that apart from the problem of infiltration, several other issues relating to the North East were discussed in the meeting and the Forum is of the view that the policy-makers should not formulate policies for the region by sitting in Delhi. The policy-makers should visit every nook and corner of the North East to understand the ground realities before finalizing policies and programmes for the region. He said that looking back to history would not help the North East and “we must look into the present and future.” He said that the Forum is of the view that the region should be transformed into the gateway of India towards East Asian countries, as once the economy grows, there would be more employment opportunities and terrorism would go down.
Source : Assam Tribune