11th December 2019 will always be remembered as a special day in history of West Bengal as on this day all the refugees from Bangladesh here are all set to be full-fledged citizens of India. However still we find a section of people are trying to vitiate this joyous atmosphere spreading false propaganda and now a section of antinational persons have started violent disruptive activities, burning national properties and causing harm to the people of West Bengal. In this context, we feel to place some important points for your consideration and subsequent dissemination to the public.

Demand for citizenship of refugees, particularly for the refugees from Bangladesh has been made by different refugee organisations for last 40 years and has been supported by all the political parties of West Bengal including CPIM, Forward Block, Congress, Trinamul Congress and BJP. Though for various reasons these parties except BJP have never brought it to the national level. BJP has fulfilled its electoral promise of providing citizenship to these hapless refugees. So it is surprising that now all the parties who previously supported this demand made a complete turnaround for electoral gain and opposing the citizenship to the refugees.

We appeal to all not to be misled by the false propaganda of various political parties, primarily from TMC. A person’s citizenship status is determined by conditions set in the Constitution and Citizenship Act. Just having Ration Card or Aadhar Card does not ensure citizenship. In fact the refugees know that yet we appeal not to be convinced by false assurance. The application for citizenship is simple and would not need any proof of migration or evidence of religious persecution. Self statement would do.

Infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals has remained a major problem for West Bengal for more than 40 years. The first Communist Home Minister of India, Indrajit Gupta brought the issue of infiltration on the floor of Lok Sabha in 1990. Former Chief Minister Jyoti Basu in 1992 has written about the severe problem of infiltration. In 2004, the then Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya echoed on the same issue and in 2005 Mamata Banerjee made a hysteric demonstration in Lok Sabha about the infiltrators influencing West Bengal’s election. So it is also surprising that now all these parties are denying the existence of infiltrators by passing a resolution in State Assembly.

We feel that Congress, TMC and CPIM are opposing NRC to safeguards these infiltrators for safeguarding their vote banks. However, the Bangladeshi Muslim infiltration has already seriously changed the religious demography of the State. One of the consequences of that is rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the State and the government’s acceptance of that. From expulsion of Taslima Nasrin to Kaliachak violence, Khagragarh violence, interference on Hindu religious activities, dolling out public fund on Madrasas and Imams – all are pushing West Bengal to an Islamic state.

The violence on 13 December 2019 and its continuation brings us back the memories of the dark days of 1946 Calcutta riots. To substantiate the demand for Pakistan through terrorising violence and brute force, the attack on the people of Kolkata was started on 16th August, 1946, Friday by Muslim League. We find a similar pattern to stop application of Citizenship Act and NRC, a group of Muslims are organising violent protests starting on a Friday — burning public vehicle, railways, stations etc and blocking main roads. It is a known fact that the 1946 Great Calcutta Killing was started in connivance with the then Bengal Government and the police force. We find a similar pattern here for the last two days as the police force has disappeared and has allowed the Muslim hooligans to continue unhindered rampage.

We are much disturbed by the role of Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee who is yet to condemn these violent protests. She only softly has appealed to protest in a peaceful manner but has not taken any step against any of the hooligans. This in fact has encouraged the Islamic miscreants and the violence is continuing.

We urge West Bengal Government to take stern action against these Islamic miscreants immediately. .

Otherwise the situation may take a more ugly turn and citizens may be compelled to act in self-defense.

Dr Swapan Dasgupta, Rantidev Sengupta, Mohit Ray, Achintya Biswas, Shishir Bajoria

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