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KSU closes down mosque

KSU closes down mosque

Author: Raju Das
Publication: Assamtribune.com
Date: October 28, 2008
URL: http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/details.asp?id=jan1409/ne8

Continuing its drive against illegal Bangladeshi migrants, the Khasi Students' Union (KSU) on Monday closed down a mosque in Jaintia Hills district, believed to be a 'safe haven' for illegal Bangladeshis.

The mosque was constructed recently at Lumshnong (Umsahi), Jaintia Hills, bordering Assam's Silchar town and was allegedly providing shelter to illegal Bangladeshi nationals.

KSU president Samuel Jyrwa confirming the closure said: "the mosque was being used as a safe haven for illegal Bangladeshis."

Senior Congressman and president of Shillong Muslim Union, Sayeedullah Nongrum, however, said such decision to close down a place of worship was "arbitrary and violated the fundamental right of an Indian citizen".

"Everyone has the right to worship and profess one's faith," he stated adding: "we will take up the issue of the mosque's closure."

But, RM Bamon, KSU president, Jaintia Hills unit, added that the mosque sprang up in the area "without permission from the village council."

"We won't allow this to happen. The landowner too did not have any knowledge about the mosque's construction," Bamon said.

During this month alone the KSU and other organisations have nabbed more than 300 suspected illegal Bangladeshis in Jaintia Hills. On October 23 alone, 43 suspected Bangladeshis were apprehended by these organisations.

Most of the suspected Bangladeshi migrants claim to be residents of Assam and many are engaged as labourers in the mushrooming cement plants in the district, sharing a long international border with Bangladesh.

Supporting the KSU and other organizations in its drive against illegal Bangladeshis from the State, Nongrum said, Muslim community members from the State were also against illegal Bangladeshi influx.

"But many MLAs from Assam have written to me complaining that valid documents of labourers signed by these MLAs were destroyed by members of KSU and other organizations during their drive against illegal Bangladeshis," he added.

The KSU, meanwhile, during its meeting with Home Minister Hopingstone Lyngdoh yesterday requested for additional check gates at Byrnihat, Ri-Bhoi district and Umkiang, Jaintia Hills district.

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