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Immigrant Muslim population must adopt decent family planning norms: Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam Chief minister Himanta Biswa sarma said that the immigrant Muslim population must adopt decent family planning norms as land and resources are limited. Targeting to control illegal cattle trade, the Assam government will table legislation in July this year whereby it will restrict the transit of cattle from other states in Assam.

Sarma said, “As per the existing law, we cannot stop cattle movement which are in transit. We will bring a law in the assembly session in July which will restrict the transit of cattle in Assam. From Assam, it goes to Meghalaya and from there through the borders to Bangladesh. The new law will give more teeth to the state police. Presently through executive order, we are restricting the transit of cattle.”

The chief minister said that the government has reclaimed forest and government land around 180 bighas in Siphajhar, 2500 bighas in Hojai. Similar action was taken in Hojai and Karimganj. “Some organisations are saying that evicted people must be rehabilitated. However, when population increases there will be a paucity of living space and following which there will be clashes.”

He said, “How can we allow settlement in the temple, forests? Organisations like All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (Aamsu), All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) must think about where will these people live if there is a population explosion. They must emphasize how to have a small family. See how Bodo, missing communities have a small family practice and they have protected forests. We will expedite the process of giving land rights to these communities.”

The chief minister said, “If someone is thinking that they will be allowed to settle in temples and Sattras (vashnavite monasteries) that is like expecting too much from us. But the questions are how long and how far a family with 12 to 13 children can be settled. I am prepared to work with Aamsu and AIUDF.” He added that there is a constituency where the area population has increased by 20,000. “How long these people will get rice at the rate of Rs 3 per kg, where will they get jobs and they will have to settle in agricultural land thereby agricultural land will shrink. There must be an introspection.”

He added, “We are there to support the education of minority women and reduction of poverty. Poverty can be reduced by controlling the population. Population policy is already in place and will come into effect soon. There are two child norms in the panchayat.” He said, “We can do away a lot of maladies if immigrant Muslim adopt decent family planning norms.

Recently the state government has reclaimed 120 bigha land out of Shiva Mandir’s 180 bigha area which was encroached by occupants. Following this, some organisations attacked the government stating that this action should not have been taken during the COVID pandemic and those evicted must be settled. Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP from Barpeta constituency in Assam – Abdul Khaleque has written to Chief Justice of the Gauhati High CourtSudhanshu Dhulia to take suo moto cognizance of the eviction drives being carried out recently at Jamugurihat and Lanka.

Muslims comprise 34% of the 3.12 crore population of Assam, of which 4% are indigenous Assamese Muslims and the remaining are mostly Bengali-speaking Muslims. Muslim votes are a determining factor in at least 30-35 assembly seats. State government’s drive against drugs during the past one month have seized various drugs worth around Rs 24 crore and arrested 500 peddlers. The Chief Minister said that drugs are mostly smuggled from Myanmar and these are being traded making Assam a transit route.

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