The outflow of illegal Bangladeshi migrants to their home country has substantially increased in the last one month, the BSF said on Friday. The officers, however, said the increase in the outflow was not due to the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
BSF Inspector General (South Bengal Frontier) Y B Khurania said, “There has been an increase in the outflow of illegal Bangladeshi migrants to the bordering country in the last one month. In January, we had apprehended 268 illegal Bangladeshi migrants, most of whom were trying to sneak out into the neighbouring country.” He added, “These number always keep changing due to several factors. So, the reason behind the increase in outflow of migrants may not necessarily be the enactment of CAA.”
A senior BSF official said, “The highest outflow of migrants is through the North 24 Parganas district. They were mostly based in Karnataka, Kerala and other North Indian states and were engaged in jobs like masons, maids, housekeepers and sweepers.” However, sources pointed out that the influx of illegals has dropped since the enactment of CAA.
Bengal shares nearly 2,216.7-km border with Bangladesh, a large portion of which is unfenced. So, illegal inflow and outflow of migrants have always been a big problem in India and Bangladesh.
According to BSF, at least 2,200 illegal Bangladeshi migrants were caught last year while they were trying to cross the border to enter India. But BSF top officers think that the number will go down this year.
BSF sources said troopers were not stopping the immigrants from crossing over to their home country, except in cases when they were found to be smuggling goods. “Only when they are concealing any contraband or trying to smuggle something to Bangladesh, we are apprehending them.
Otherwise, we are taking a note of their particulars and details and letting them go back,” one of the sources said.
The CAA seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis who moved to India on or before December 31, 2014, having fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The law has emerged as major political flashpoint in West Bengal, with the TMC opposing the contentious legislation tooth and nail, and the BJP pressing for its implementation.
(With PTI inputs)
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