The Maharashtra government is set to start special branches of police,like the Mumbai Police Special Branch,in neighbouring Thane and Navi Mumbai as well,Home Minister R R Patil said on Wednesday.
Responding to a starred question in the Legislative Assembly about illegal Bangladeshi migrants living in areas along the coast in Thane district,Patil said illegal immigrants and those overstaying their visas are regularly rounded up,presented in court and deported. Given the massive urbanisation,we need to have special branches of police in Navi Mumbai and Thane too, he said.
To a query by leader of the Opposition Eknath Khadse regarding how many illegal Bangladeshis are staying in the state currently,Patil admitted there has been a rise in the numbers being deported. Entire colonies named Bangladeshi colonies exist in Bhayander,Uttan and nearby areas, said Khadse. Maharashtra is not a dharamshala where anybody can come and live for free. Whether as auto drivers or as construction labourers,the presence of illegal immigrant Bangladeshis is on the rise.
Patil warned against identifying all Bengali-speaking people in new slum colonies as Bangladeshis. They may be from West Bengal, he said,to which Khadse replied that the slum colonies he described in Uttan and Bhayander were known hubs for illegal immigrants. Patil promised a probe into this.
Patil said 869 foreigners were deported in 2008. In 2009,1,059 persons were similarly deported and 812 immigrants in 2010 and 1,560 in 2011. These include Bangladeshi as well as immigrants of other nationalities and those who overstayed their visa.
MLA Vivek Patil said the issue is also connected to coastal security. He pointed out that there is a shortage of manpower at coastal police stations.
The Home Minister replied that 12 coastal police stations have been set up. The proposal of having a separate commissionerate for coastal areas is being considered.