Inhabitants Were Indians: Mamata Regularises 119 Refugee Colonies

Mamata also asserted they need not obtain citizenship afresh.

2 min read
Mamata Banerjee addressing the crowd  in Kolkata. 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday, 3 March, regularised 119 refugee colonies in the state and said their inhabitants were Indians and their citizenship "cannot be snatched away".

She also asserted they need not obtain citizenship afresh.

Lakhs of people, both Hindus and Muslims, had migrated to West Bengal from Pakistan during and after Partition and the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

“They all are citizens. Nobody will be able to snatch away the citizenship of the refugees. There is no need to give them fresh citizenship. You all are citizens of this country... don’t be misled by the false statements of the BJP,” she told a public meeting.

She said the people have residential address proof, voter card, ration card and don't need the certificate of citizenship given by the BJP.

“You have seen that all those (refugees) who have come from Bangladesh are all citizens ...They have got citizenship. You don't need to apply for citizenship again. You have been casting your votes in elections, electing PM and CM, Assembly, Zila Parishad... Now they are saying that you are not citizens. You all are bonafide citizens of this country," she said.

‘What Happened in Delhi Will Never Be Allowed to Happen Here’

Banerjee also asserted she will not let "even a single person" to be driven out of Bengal.

"You have an address, ration card, voter card, driving licence. There is no need to get this new card of the BJP. Don't worry, you will always find this didi beside you. Your family is my family. I will not let anybody take away the rights of our people," she asserted.

The TMC supremo said her government was doing everything for the development of backward sections like Rajbongshi, Kurmi, Kujur and Urdu Alichiki.

She also accused the BJP government in Assam of excluding a large number of genuine Bengali, Rajbongshi, and Muslim citizens from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that seeks to weed out infiltrators, particularly from Bangladesh.

Hitting out at the central government over the Delhi violence, the TMC boss said, "Don't forget this is Bengal. What happened in Delhi will never be allowed to happen here. We do not want Bengal to turn into another Delhi or another Uttar Pradesh."

The BJP has often accused Banerjee of "Muslim appeasement" and pandering to the interests of the minority community for "vote bank politics".

Later, chairing an administrative meeting, Banerjee told officers that her government has decided not to implement the CAA and the NRC or update the National Population Register (NPR). Top state officials like the chief secretary, home secretary and those of North Dinajpur district attended the meeting.

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