With Odisha Assembly elections scheduled next year, the district administration in Kendrapara has started weeding out Bangladeshi infiltrators from the electorate list. The exercise is part of the Election Commission’s ongoing revision of the voter’s list, which will continue till September 27, PTI reported. Kendrapara houses about 1,649 Bangladeshi settlers, with 1,551 of them living in Mahakalpada tehsil alone.
Kendrapara district collector Dasarathi Satpathy said so far 137 Bangladeshis have been detected in the voters’ list in Mahakalpada tehsil. “After thorough verification of their nativity antecedents, these foreign nationals have been removed from voters list,” PTI quoted Satpathy as saying. He further said officials engaged in the exercise have been asked to ensure that none of the Bangladeshi infiltrators find a place in the final voters’ list.
The development comes amid the controversy over the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens in Assam, where about 40 lakh people have been left out. The ruling BJP has made it clear that all illegal Bangladeshi migrants would be evicted from the country one by one, despite protests from the Opposition.
In an attempt to curb the influx of illegal immigrants, the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government has formed committees comprising revenue, police and forest officials to intensify vigil on infiltration. These panels have been working in cohesion in infiltration-affected Maakalpada and Rajnagar tehsils.
As many as 3,987 Bangladeshis have been staying in Odisha illegally. Besides, Kendrapara, 1,112 Bangladeshi migrants reside in Paradip and Jagatsinghpur, officials said. Of the 3,987 infiltrators, 1,551 foreign nationals from 362 families living in Mahakalpada tehsil of Kendrapara district were served deportation notice in 2005. However, the deportation move has been kept on hold following intervention by the then UPA government.
(With PTI inputs)