Students form human chain to press for fencing of Indo-Bangla border

      Thousands of students formed a human chain in the Sonahat region in Assam on Tuesday to demand fences along India-Bangladesh border. Insurgency-hit Assam shares a 272-kilometer long border with Bangladesh of which about 70 per cent has been fenced with barbed wire. All Assam Students Union (AASU), an influential student organization in the state, organised the event. Demanding implementation of the Assam Accord within a specific time frame protestors demanded the completion of border fencing on a war footing. "If the Government can seal India-Pakistan border within three years so why not in case of Indo-Bangladesh is a crime on the part of Government at the Centre and Assam...through this illegal Bangladeshi immigrants the ISI (Pakistan spy agency Inter Services Intelligence), HUJI (Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, a Bangladesh based militant outfit) and other fundamentalist groups have entered," said Sammujal Bhattacharya, advisor, All Assam Students Union. The Assam Accord was a Memorandum of Settlement signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Agitation in New Delhi on August 15, 1985. Though the Accord brought an end to the Assam Agitation or Assam Movement, a popular movement led by AASU and other outfits against illegal immigrants in Assam between 1979 and 1985. The porous India-Bangladesh border has always been a bone of contention with allegations that hordes of illegal Bangladeshi migrants enter Assam for livelihood, thereby upsetting the region's demographic profile.

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