NEW DELHI: Assam, where illegal immigration from Bangladesh has been a concern, continues to show demographic changes with the 2011 Census finding nine of its 27 districts to be Muslim-majority. Adding to six such districts listed in 2001 Census, the 2011 Census has shown Bongaigaon, Morigaon and Darrang to be Muslim-majority.
In 2001 Census, the districts in Assam with a larger Muslim population as compared to Hindus, were Barpeta, Dhubri, Karimganj, Goalpara, Hailakandi and Nagaon. Bongaigaon then had 38.5% Muslim population, Morigaon 47.6% and Darrang 35.5%.
As per 2011 Census, Dhubri has 15.5 lakh Muslims compared to 3.88 lakh Hindus, Goalpara has 5.8 lakh Muslims and 3.48 lakh Hindus, Nagaon 15.6 lakh Muslims and 12.2 lakh Hindus, Barpeta 11.98 lakh Muslims and 4.92 lakh Hindus, Morigaon 5.03 lakh Muslims and 4.51 lakh Hindus, Karimganj 6.9 lakh Muslims and 5.3 lakh Hindus, Hailakandi 3.97 lakh Muslims and 2.5 lakh Hindus, Bongaigaon 3.71 lakh Muslims and 3.59 lakh Hindus and Darrang 5.97 lakh Muslims and 3.27 lakh Hindus. Other districts with a significant share of Muslims are Cachar (6.5 lakh against 10.3 lakh Hindus), Kamrup (6.01 lakh Muslims against 8.77 Hindus) and Nalbari (2.77 lakh Muslims against 4.91 lakh Hindus).
In 1998, then governor of Assam S K Sinha had, in a report on illegal influx of Bangladeshi immigrants into Assam, warned that the “silent demographic invasion of Assam may result in the loss of the geostrategically vital districts of Lower Assam”.