Delhi plans to ‘seal’ India-Bangladesh border to check illegal migration

Shocked over the “unabated influx” of illegal migrants from Bangladesh, India is contemplating about “sealing” the international border between the countries.

New Delhi
Published : 11 August 2015, 05:20 PM
Updated : 11 August 2015, 05:20 PM

India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh said his government wanted to “completely seal” the border to stop illegal migration as “it is a matter of serious concern,”

“We want to take all possible steps to check illegal immigration. All loopholes have to be plugged,” he said.

The home minister will visit the porous international border by the end of this month.

Singh was addressing a seminar on 30 years of Assam Accord: issues, challenges and implementation in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The Assam Accord was signed in 1985 between Government of India, Assam Government and the influential All Assam Student Union (AASU), ending a six-year-long vigorous anti-foreigners agitation.

Justifying AASU’s demand for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants from Assam, the home minister, however, made it clear that genuine Indian citizens would not be harassed.

“Whoever is Indian will remain in India…the ongoing process of updating the National Register of Citizen (NRC) will definitely help detecting and deporting illegal migrants,” Singh said.

Rajnath Singh with BSF gaurds

Following the direction of the Supreme Court, both Centre and the Assam government had initiated the move to upgrade the NRC making Mar 25, 1971 as the base year.

“Ever since I became home minister, I have visited Indo-Bangla border seven times…and before the end of this month I will again visit the border areas,” Singh said.

AASU president Dipankar Kumar Nath expressed concern over the issue of illegal migrants.

“It was unfortunate that even after 30 years of the accord, it has not been effectively implemented…the gravity of the problem of infiltration has increased, detection and deportation of illegal foreigners never happened in a manner it should have.”

India’s Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Although the accord will complete 30 years on August 15, many clauses have still not been implemented.”

Sonowal is also a former AASU president.

He requested the home minister to take steps to ensure illegal migration did not take place in areas like Karimganj in the Barak Valley and Dhubri in the Brahmaputra Valley.

He termed these areas major shelter zones for the illegal migrants.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher