ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Numbers Game

THE one positive feature of the Delhi talks on 'foreign nationals' in Assam is that they have not, as on earlier occasions, broken down; the talks are to be resumed next month, perhaps in Gauhati. There is going to be further hard bargaining, though to what pracical purpose, it is not clear, over the numbers and the identity of categories identified variously as 'bonafide or 'authorised' or 'unauthorised' or 'legal' or 'illegal' entrants into the state. Both the Centre and the leaders of the agitation appear to have agreed that nothing should be done to disturb the migrants who came to the region before 1961; that those who came between 1961 and 1971 and who are imprecisely sought to be categorised as authorised, unauthorised, bona- fide, etc, are to be 'detected', have their names 'deleted' from the voting lists (this, only in Assam, presumably, and selec ively 'dispersed' to other states; and all those who came after 1971, acknowledged by everyone as 'illegals', are to get the full treatment of detection, deletion and deportation.

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