As the country witnesses multiple protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Tripura Police on Monday arrested nine Bangladeshi nationals who had crossed the Indo-Bangla border illegally to enter West Tripura’s Matai village. The nine, who are Hindus from different parts of Bangladesh including Sylhet and Chittagong, were produced in a local court.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Sidhai Mohanpur police station in-charge Bijoy Sen said the Bangladeshi nationals were detained by local villagers, who later called the police. “We produced them in court. Preliminary investigation shows they came to India illegally with the intention of staying here. They didn’t have any documents on them,” the officer said.
Reacting to the incident, BJP’s ruling ally, Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), said the porous border with Bangladesh was the reason they were opposing the CAA.
“Such incidents are common in this part of the state. Many people here enjoy dual citizenship benefits in India and Bangladesh. The presence of BSF officials isn’t sufficient. I have spoken to some Bangladeshi people who came here. They said they want to live peacefully. We are not against any community or religion. But the porous border is exactly why we were protesting against the CAA”, IPFT leader Brishaketu Debbarmatold reporters
The nine include three women, three men and three minors.
Before this, on Sunday evening, BSF jawans detained two Bangladeshi nationals trying to enter the Indian territory illegally at Unakoti district, 90 km from Agartala. The detainees were identified as Masum Miah, 33 and Md. Rashid, 55. A local resident of Tripura, Faruq Uddin, was also detained with them.
Earlier on December 26 last year, Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma had posted a video of some people crossing a field on social media, and claimed they were Bangladeshi nationals entering Tripura.
“Hello friends from Northeast and rest of India, all of you are speaking out against CAA but the reality is this is how porous our borders are! These are Bangladeshi’s crossing over to India – location – Tripura, Simna, India border at Daldali village., Do you think your ILP will stop them. Date 26-12-2019 at about 5 pm,” Pradyot wrote on his Facebook page.
Speaking to indianexpress.com on Tuesday evening, Pradyot appealed to the government to strengthen vigil along the Indo-Bangla border in Tripura. “Cross-border illegal immigration is severely affecting the state’s population, especially since it has already accepted lakhs of East Pakistani refugees in the past,” he added.
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