The Indian Home Ministry has expressed serious concern over continuing infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals into India.
New Delhi is also believed to have raised this issue with Dhaka at the highest level, when a high-power delegation led by Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina visited India recently.
Though there is no accurate data about the number of Bangladeshi nationals illegally residing in the country, government statistics said that more than 15,000 illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators have been arrested in the last three years till date.
“More than 1,750 Bangladeshi infiltrators were also deported during the same period,” a senior government official told The Sentinel.
The issue of illegal entry of Bangladeshi nationals into the country was also raised in Parliament recently.
“Illegal infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals into India is an issue of concern. Since illegal immigrants enter into the country without valid travel documents in clandestine and surreptitious manner, there is no accurate data with regard to the number of Bangladeshi nationals illegally residing in the country…,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in Parliament.
As brought out in government report, many illegal immigrants are found to be involved in theft and burglary, smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking and circulation of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) among others.
“Deportation of illegally staying foreign nationals is a continuous process. The powers of identification, detention and deportation of illegal foreign nationals have been delegated to the State governments and Union Territory administrations under the Foreigners Act, 1946. Besides diplomatic measures, other steps taken by the Government include effective domination of the India-Bangladesh and Indo-Pak borders by security forces, erection of fencing, installation of surveillance equipment and floodlights along Indo-Bangladesh border etc., to prevent illegal infiltration of Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals,” Rijiju said.