'No details about magnitude of illegal migration from Bangla'



New Delhi: Government Thursday said it does not have specific details about the magnitude of illegal migration from Bangladesh to India as it takes place clandestinely.

Replying to a unstarred question in Lok Sabha, Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said there are reports of illegal infiltration and immigration of Bangladeshi nationals, who manage to "infiltrate into the country despite checks and control" at the International border.

JD-U's Arjun Rai and BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi wanted to know about the visit of the National Commission for Minority (NCM) to violence-hit Assam and about reports of migration of Bangladeshi Muslims into the region.

In his reply, Khurshid that infiltration takes place particularly through few patches where fencing is not feasible due to difficult terrain and riverine areas.

"As this activity takes place clandestinely, no specific details are available about the magnitude of this illegal migration to India...Including Assam."

The minister said the powers of identification and deportation of illegally staying foreign nationals including those from Bangladesh have been delegated to state governments and Union Territory administrations under the Foreigners Act while tribunals have been set up for detection of foreigners/illegal migrants in the state of Assam.

On apprehension expressed by NCM that people in Bodo Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) can become militants by setting up links with Jehadi elements, Khurshid said, "They have only expressed apprehension about arms being supplied from outside the area".

The NCM report submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month had concluded that ethnic violence in Assam was between Bodos and "resident Muslims" and not Bangladeshi immigrants.

The Commission members had also brought to the notice of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi the "danger of Muslims in the BTC becoming militants in the future, in case their security was not ensured".

"There can be grave danger in future in case militant Jehadi outfits from the rest of the country start supplying lethal weapons in this area," the report had said.

PTI