Kapil Sibal tells Supreme Court ‘Assam was part of Myanmar’; CM Himanta Biswa Sarma retorts ‘a lawyer says anything...' | Mint
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Business News/ News / India/  Kapil Sibal tells Supreme Court ‘Assam was part of Myanmar’; CM Himanta Biswa Sarma retorts ‘a lawyer says anything...'
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Kapil Sibal tells Supreme Court ‘Assam was part of Myanmar’; CM Himanta Biswa Sarma retorts ‘a lawyer says anything...'

The Supreme Court has directed the Centre and the Assam government to provide extensive data, including those on the number of Bangladeshi immigrants granted Indian citizenship in Assam between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971.

Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal (PTI)Premium
Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal (PTI)

As the Supreme Court deals with the inflow of ‘illegal migrants’ into Assam, a debate arose between senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Assam Chief Minister and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Himanta Biswa Sarma overt the origin of the state Assam. Advocate Kapil Sibal had in Supreme Court remarked that Assam was “earlier a part of Myanmar". 

Assam government spokesperson Pijush Hazarika said Assam at no point in history was part of Myanmar. "From the time of Mahabharat and before, we have firmly been an integral part of Bharatvarsh," the government spokesperson said.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also refuted Kapil Sibal's statement. "Those who do not know Assam's history should not speak. Never was Assam a part of Myanmar. People from Myanmar came and clashed with the Assam people. For a brief period -- for a month-- Assam became like an occupation. This is the extent of Assam and Myanmar relations. I never came across any data claiming that Assam was with Myanmar...I should not comment on what is said in the Supreme Court. A lawyer says anything as part of an argument..." Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Kapil Sibal on 5 December claimed Assam was part of Myanmar during a hearing on multiple petitions challenging the validity of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act of 1955.

"No migration can ever be mapped. And if you look at the history of Assam, you will realise that it is impossible to figure out who came when. Assam originally was a part of Myanmar. And it was way back in 1824 after the British conquered part of the territory that a treaty was entered into by which Assam was handed over to the British. One can imagine the kind of movements of people that must have taken place in the context of the then British Empire. And if you jump to 1905, you have the partition of Bengal," Kapil Sibal said.

Last week, the Supreme Court has directed the Centre and the Assam government to provide extensive data, including those on the number of Bangladeshi immigrants granted Indian citizenship in Assam between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971. 

The apex court was taking note of pleas that illegal immigration has impacted demography and cultural fabric of Assam.

CM Himanta Biswa Sarma orders socio-economic study of indigenous Assamese Muslims 

The Assam government said it will conduct a socio-economic assessment of indigenous Assamese Muslims of the state.

"A socio-economic assessment of indigenous Assamese Muslims will be conducted through the Directorate of Minority Affairs and Char Areas," CM Himanta Biswa Sarma posted on X.

The meeting decided that the Directorate of Char Areas Development, Assam, will be renamed as the Directorate of Minority Affairs and Char Areas, Assam.

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Published: 09 Dec 2023, 03:05 PM IST
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