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TMC protests against CAA in Bongaon’s Matua stronghold

The Matua community in Bongaon, which is home to many TMC-backed groups, demonstrated against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) the day after 14 individuals received their first citizenship certificates.

Since many Matuas moved into West Bengal during Partition and the establishment of Bangladesh, they may trace their heritage back to East Bengal. The group makes up West Bengal’s second-largest SC population.

The TMC has advised the Matua community not to seek for certificates under CAA, despite the BJP’s claims that they would provide citizenship to the group. The majority Matua community in the Bongaon seat will cast their votes on May 20.

BJP MP Shantanu Thakur will face TMC’s Biswajit Das in Bongaon. Banerjee fielded a BJP defector who joined the TMC this year. When he was a member of the BJP, he served as the Bagda constituency’s MLA.

According to sources, TMC has an advantage over BJP since the majority of people are unhappy with how the CAA has been implemented. The seat was won by the BJP in 2019 and they want to hold it.

During many visits to Bongaon, Home Minister Amit Shah assured the locals that Banerjee was lying and that the Matuas will not have any difficulties in obtaining citizenship under the CAA.

Supporters of TMC claim that although though CAA was implemented two months ago, there are still issues with it, which makes many Matuas reluctant to register online. They express concern about the need for paperwork.

All India Matua Mahasangha member Monisha Singh, who is supported by the TMC, said, “Where will we receive credentials verifying our citizenship? Our parents had nothing except their clothing when they ran away. The government need to release a fresh announcement with updated regulations that do away with the requirement for these kinds of paperwork.

The CAA, which came into effect in March, intends to award Indian nationality to non-Muslim migrants who were subjected to persecution and arrived in India before to December 31, 2014, from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

According to senior TMC officials, Matuas clung to their hopes of arriving in a place where they would be protected from prejudice and persecution. The introduction of CAA seemed to herald a fresh start, bringing with it the prospect of acceptance and citizenship. But after the dust cleared, the excitement gave way to uncertainty, disappointment, and bewilderment.

The position is set aside for SC applicants. The BJP won six of the seven assembly seats that come under this LS constituency in the 2021 assembly elections, while the TMC only received one. Later on, one of the BJP MLAs joined the TMC.

Origins in Bangladesh

Since many of them moved into West Bengal during Partition and the creation of Bangladesh, the Matuas may trace their genealogy back to East Bengal. The group makes up West Bengal’s second-largest SC population.

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