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Bangla migrants pose threat: IB

Bangla migrants pose threat: IB

Author: Chandan Nandy
Publication: The Hindustan Times
Date: November 7, 2003
URL: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/printedition/071103/detNAT07.shtml

The Indian security establishment has for the first time acknowledged the emerging security threat from Bangladesh.

An Intelligence Bureau document, prepared for delegates to the 38th conference of Directors-General of Police, states that Bangladesh "has emerged as a security threat to India since the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led government of Begum Khaleda Zia came to power in 2001". The document has been accessed by the Hindustan Times.

The document outlines the broad areas that pose a danger to India. These include the presence of Pakistani intelligence officials in Bangladesh, the rise of communal forces and the presence of Indian insurgent groups in that country. It also focuses on illegal immigration from Bangladesh.

The facts contained in the document form part of a new study that the IB had conducted on the issue.

Figures quoted in the document say the number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh settled in India has crossed 15 million. Of these, 80 lakh are in West Bengal and 50 lakh in Assam.

Pointing out that the "influx" of Bangladeshi nationals has "continued unabated", the document says that over 4.75 lakh illegal immigrants are settled in Katihar, Sahebganj, Kishenganj and Purnia districts of Bihar. About 3.75 lakh are in Tripura and 4 lakh in Delhi. West Bengal government sources said that of late, they have noticed a new trend in the nature of the immigration - the infiltrators are increasingly using Bengal as a transit point to move to other states.

Nagaland and Mizoram are the two other states in the North-East where Bangladeshi nationals have taken shelter. While in 1991, there were about 20,000 illegal immigrants in Nagaland, the number has now shot up to nearly 80,000.

Stating that illegal immigration has "significantly altered the demographic character" of the states bordering Bangladesh, the document spells out the dangers the massive influx poses to India's security. It not only refers to the presence of terrorist elements in Bangladesh, but also admits to their clandestine movement into India.


Areas of concern

** Presence of Pakistani intelligence officials in Bangladesh

** Indian insurgent groups operating from that country

** Facts and figures

Number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh settled in India has crossed 15 million

** New trend

Infiltrators are using Bengal as transit point to move to other areas


Illegal immigration has significantly altered the demographic character of the border states, particularly Bihar, West Bengal, Tripura and Assam

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