Jorhat – Fast immerging Hub of illegal migrants settlers

Foreigners Tribunal Jorhat
Foreigners Tribunal Jorhat

By- Staff Correspondent | Date- August 16, 2012

The Bangladeshi factor is an important issue in North-East India and especially Assam due to the illegal migration from Bangladesh. The process to check illegal migration in the North-East, which started during the British Empire, remains unfinished until today despite various efforts made at the national and state levels. With at least, five constituencies in the state becoming minority dominated and religious and linguistic minorities in Assam holding the key to winning elections in at least 40 out of 126 assembly constituencies, the present situation has reached such a point where no party can think of winning elections without the help of these minorities.

Times of Assam’s investigations have revealed that a large number of illegal migrants continue to reside in Assam taking advantage of the Foreigners Tribunal’s declaring method and one such immerging district is Jorhat in upper Assam, where the district administration has failed totally in detaining and deporting suspected/declared migrants. Statistics reveal that since 30’Th April 2005 till 2012, altogether 2867 suspected migrants were nabbed in the district and only five were declared illegal settlers and actually deported to Bangladesh. RTI results obtained from the Foreigner’s Tribunal Court a citizen of the district have revealed that on account of public complaint, the Jorhat unit of the foreigner’s tribunal Act had identified 1,246 till 2009 and another bunch of 1,621. But police inaction and the absence of detention camp in the district and freeing of the accused on bail often becomes easy for the illegal settlers to vanish in thin air, while settling in a different part of the state with a new identity.

As alleged by a section of alert citizens who didn’t get RTI information from the police department termed the border branch of the Assam Police attached with the Superintendent of Police in Jorhat as playing a dubious role in the whole process and washes their hands off saying it to be a sensitive issue. On contacting the Inspector in charge of the border branch Mr. Honkito Bora told Times of Assam, “Please don’t mind, I can’t furnish any information, it is purely an official secret”. When asked whether an RTI would provide any information regarding the number of pending cases, Mr. Bora cited, “It would require permission from top level because it has the chance to irk many organizations dealing with this vexed issue”. The Dhakiapatty and Borpul area of Jorhat is fast immerging as a Bangladeshi hub and most of the cases registered under the foreigner’s Act are from these places informed the bench man of the foreigner’s tribunal court.

And finally once these illegal immigrants are identified, the biggest challenge is from the Bangladeshi side. The official policy of Bangladesh is that there is no Bangladeshi residing illegally in India. So what actually can be understood is that if Bangladesh refuses entry of a declared illegal migrant from Assam into its soil, than the Indian government have no other option but to push him through one of the porous border pockets and nevertheless the illegal migrant probably after a day or two comes back again into India by the same route with a different identity thus making a mockery of the very law which was created for the protection of the indigenous people of the state.

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