If infiltration in Assam has affected someone the most, it is the indigenous Muslim communities. A tour through the length and breadth of Assam, particularly in the areas dominated by the Desi, Gariya and Mariya community will give a clear picture in this regard.
Desi, Gariya and Mariya are basically, the indigenous Muslims of Assam, who converted into Islam hundreds of years back.
Now, Janagosthiya Sammannay Parishad Asom, a parent body of the Desis, Gariyas and Mariyas, have demanded a separate census of the minorities, to filter out who among the Muslims are indigenous to Assam.
Speaking to Republic TV, Chief Convener of Janagosthiya Sammannay Parishad Asom, and also Chairman of Assam Minority Development Board, Syed Mominul Aowal said that the census is very necessary to safeguard the culture and heritage of Assam.
"We have demanded a separate census to find out the number of indigenous Muslims among the 1.2 crores Muslims in Assam," Aowal said.
He further added that this census will not only help in delivering to the indigenous communities but will also help in developing the three communities.
"The Desis, Gariyas and Mariyas are those who embraced Islam religion. They are basically converted Assamese. They are indigenous. We want to ensure that their rights are safe," added Aowal.
He also said that as the State government and Center is planning to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, it is necessary to carry out the census in order to secure the rights of the indigenous people.
Stressing that he will help to identify the infiltrators from Bangladesh, Aowal said, "The indigenous Assamese Muslims are not infiltrators, but those from Bangladesh are. A separate census will bring a distinctive identity to the indigenous Muslims."
Meanwhile, the Assam government has also given its nod for the separate census. Speaking to Republic TV, Finance Minister and NEDA Convener Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Budget of 2019-2020 already has the proposal and the paperwork will soon begin.