Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani Tuesday blamed illegal immigration of people from Bangladesh into Assam for the communal violence in the state. He accused the state and the central governments of colluding with the infiltrators from that country.
The BJP veteran, who was on a tour to the violence-hit areas in the state, said the conflict should be seen as an "Indian vs. foreigner issue, and not as a Hindu vs. Muslim issue".
The over week-long violence from July 19 between the Bodos and the Bengali-speaking Muslim settlers left 56 people dead and lakhs homeless.
"Today's situation arose firstly because of a criminal delay in dealing with the situation when symptoms were already there that something could happen. But as I said, the introspection must lead to identification of the root cause, which is this issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh," Advani said.
"As a result of the infiltration in collusion of state government and government of India, people of Assam are feeling that they are losing control over their own land while illegal Bangladeshis have embarked upon large-scale land grab," Advani said.
"The second is the ethnic problem. The Bodos face the threat of marginalisation in their own land," he said.
"The third problem is the demographic change taking place in Assam," he said.
Comparing the situation of the displaced in Assam to that of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, Advani said: "I would like the prime minister (Manmohan Singh), Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) and state government of Assam to honestly introspect as to where the guilt lies. How did all this happen?"
Saying that he agreed with the prime minister that the incident was a "blot" on India's face, Advani said an updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) should be prepared by deleting the names of non-citizens from the voters' list in Assam.