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Centre seeks report on illegal Bangladeshis staying in Odisha




 The Centre has asked the State government to provide detailed information on Bangladeshis residing in Odisha.

The Union government has sought a report on the number of illegal Bangladeshis residing in the State along with steps taken to deport them. There are reports of influx of Bangladeshis to Odisha via sea route. It is reported that illegal Bangladeshis are flocking to coastal districts like Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Balasore and Bhadrak.

Mukesh Mittal, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs has written to the State government recently about the number of Bangladeshis staying in the State. Mittal has also asked the State government the number of such people deported back to their country in the last three years.  While official figures mention there are only 3,740 illegal immigrants are staying in Odisha, the number could be much more.

According to a recent reply in the Lok Sabha till March 30, 2017, there were 3,740 Bangladeshi Infiltrators staying in seven districts of Odisha. While in Kendrapara, 1,649 such people are staying in Jagatsinghpur the number is 1.112, Malkangiri, 655, Bhadrak, 199, Nabarangpur, 106, Bhubaneswar, 17 and Bargarh 2.

However, it is a fact that hundreds of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh are staying in Kendrapara coastal zones, where they earn their livelihood through fishing and some of them even possess voters’ ID cards, said unofficial sources. In fact Bangladeshi nationals started arriving in India after March 25, 1971, they have been staying in the country illegally as they do not possess valid documents like visa.

These Bangladeshis were refuges and were not deported and asked to file application for grant of Indian citizenship. But for last few years several illegal immigrants have been coming in small boats quietly taking shelter mostly in Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Bhadrak.

The situation is slowly turning serious as they are harbouring criminal activities and several times, State Police have arrested some of the illegal immigrants and deported them to Bangladesh. Now as there are 18 Marine Police Stations operating in the coastal zones, vigil is being kept on the movements of illegal migrants, said officials. Marine Police personnel are conducting regular surprise checks at the coastal zones. However due to paucity of funds regular boat exercise is not possible, officials admit.

The State government has repeatedly brought it to the notice of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and sought funds to meet fuel cost. Similarly more high powered boats are being demanded by the State government.  Boats provided by MHA are posing problem of movement in small creeks, where depth is low, said a cop deployed in the border of West Bengal from where large number of illegal immigrants are sneaking into the country. These issues are needed to be taken care of by the Centre, which is equally concerned about the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, said an official.






Editorial

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From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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