Illegal Bangladeshi Migration to India: Impact on Internal Security

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by utubekhiladi, May 17, 2012.

  1. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    Anand Kumar

    May 7, 2010
    Event: Fellows' Seminar
    Type: Only by Invitation
    Time: 1030 to 1300 hrs
    Chairperson: Shri Ajit K Doval
    External Discussants: E N Ram Mohan and J N Roy
    Internal Discussants: Brig(retd.) Ramel Dahiya and Dr. Smruti S Pattanaik

    Stating that that they are around 10-20 million illegal Bangladeshi migrants in India, Dr. Anand Kumar emphasized the need to understand the security aspects of illegal migration. The 9/11 Commission report points out that practically no communication existed between the security system and the immigration department. Unchecked and unregulated migration flows together with high fertility rates could create an explosive situation. While urbanization is prompting migration towards industrialized nations, the author pointed to lax immigration control which allowed terrorism to grow thus weakening the internal security. He pointed out that the main problem inherent with illegal migration was the lack of cooperation of Bangladesh on the issue. He pointed out that sending migrants to other countries is the undeclared objective of the foreign policy of Bangladesh.

    Though attempts have been made in India to prevent illegal migration, they have been relatively weak. The author stated that the socio-political movement started by the Assamese people in 1979 to evict illegal Bangladeshis ended in Assam Accord in 1985. In April, 2005 a youth organization, Chiring Chapori Yuva Mancha began a campaign against the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. Illegal Bangladeshi Migrants are also threat to language and culture of Assam. ULFA which arose as a protest against Bangladeshis lost credibility only when its leaders took shelter in Bangladesh after the Bhutanese operation against the group in December 2003. Arrest of Bangladeshi national S. M. Alam in January 2008 by Assam Police revealed ISI’s plan to turn northeast into a volatile region. The migrants have also spread into other places like Dimapur and Kohima. The illegal migrants are not involved into terrorism in a big way, but involved in gun running, fake currency rackets and drug running.

    Growing population pressure in Bangladesh acts as a push factor whereas growing Indian economy, relatively less pressure on land and weak state resistance act as pull factor. Islamic fundamentalist extremist groups are growing in Bangladesh and they are able to expand their activities in West Bengal as well. Some of such organistaions are Jamait-e-Islami-e-Hind, Jamait-Ahle-Hadis, Students Islamic Organization (SIO), Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Tabligh-e-Jamat. Four of them are most active. Meetings have taken place between Jamaat-e-Islami and West Bengal based radical Muslim organizations and it is believed that ISI is behind them. There has been a growth of unauthorized, illegal madrassas all over West Bengal particularly along the Bangladesh border. They are also using Kolkota and Agartala as bases being close to the border and people from both sides speak the same language. There are also groups which are directly involved in subversive activities such as HUJI.

    Siliguri town acts as gateway to Guwahati, Gangtok and Kishengunj and also shares the border with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Important highways, railways tracks, vital installations such as the airfields of Bagdogra and Hashimara and oil pipelines are located here.

    Increase in Muslim population in Siliguri and adjoining areas has grown at an astonishing 150% in the past seven years. There are villages in and around Siliguri which have curious population mix and often act as heaven for ISI operatives. The villages have some 2,000 Pashto and Baloch settlers from Afghanistan along with 6,000 Iraninas. The increased activity of the ISI has endangered the security of the Siliguri corridor. ISI attempted sabotage in 1999 following a bomb blast at New Jalpaiguri Station.

    Options for India:

    Diplomatic Effort – India has to make diplomatic effort to get Bangladesh to cooperate as illegal migration cannot be solved in an effective manner unless sending country cooperates. Sharing of digital database of its citizens will make it easier.

    Financial Incentives: India should think of offering illegal migrants financial incentives in the form of liberal trade regime, an infusion of aid and investment.

    Coercive Diplomacy- The action of security forces should clearly convey to the illegal migrants that they would face greater danger if they try to cross the border.

    Better Border Management- Fencing, construction of border roads and proper management of border will make a difference
    Use better Indo-Bangladesh relations- Both the countries have better relations and both side should demarcate remaining 6.5 km of the border and the areas in adverse possession should be negotiated and form well defined border Unique Identification Number (UID) scheme – Compilation of data is likely to reduce the comfort level of fresh illegal migrants.

    Bar from Voting rights- Bangladeshi who are already in could be allowed to work but should not be allowed to vote and this will diminish their ability to influence government decisions by being a political force.

    The author concluded by pointing out that the illegal Bangladeshi migration was not the core focus of the government but it has been forced to take a close look at the problem as the terror incidents grew in intensity and frequency. He emphasized that India must go for better border management and effective record keeping of its nationals so that outsiders are easily identified and discouraged from infiltrating.

    Discussion:

    Migration started from partition. Delhi had policy to monitor Bangladeshis to be settled down in Assam. Most of the Pakistani terrorists present in Kashmir enter via Bangladesh and Nepal. Government should do a lot to solve this problem seriously.

    It’s a complex situation; BSF alone cannot solve the problem. It has socioeconomic and religious dimensions. Density of troops at the border is also lacking so government should provide more troops. For the economically deprived, criminality is the way of life. The UID card shares only few details that make it difficult to recognize them. Even readmission agreement will not work but better border management is required.

    The theoretical and international context of migration should be shortened. Terrorists have used the route but illegal Bangladeshi migrants are not charged of terrorist activities. Out of 7 terrorist organizations, only SIMI is banned. Others continue to have fraternal links with organizations in Bangladesh and West Bengal.

    The concept should differentiate legal and illegal aspects of migration. The paper needs to have hypotheses.

    The issue is economic. Illegal migrants act as cheap labour. As Bangladesh cannott expand its space for the huge population, the expansion is through the illegal migration. Work permit for them is the partial answer, the problem also have political context.

    Report Prepared by Mr Pramod Jaiswal, Research Assistant, IDSA

    Illegal Bangladeshi Migration to India: Impact on Internal Security | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

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    india is not a dharamsala and all this illegalis should be sent back at ANY COST.
     
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  3. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    India’s ‘Mexican’ Problem: Illegal Immigration from Bangladesh

    West Bengal, February 6, 2012: Illegal immigration is not only a huge problem in western, advanced countries, but also in some parts of the developing world.

    Since the 1971 war of independence that created the state of Bangladesh, millions of Bangladeshi immigrants (the vast majority of them illegal) have poured into neighboring India.

    While the Indian government has tried to deport some of these immigrants, the sheer number of them, as well as the porous border between the two countries, has made such an enterprise impossible.

    It is difficult to assess how many illegal immigrants are currently residing in India. Consider that in 1971, during the civil war in neighboring East Pakistan (the former name of Bangladesh), at least 10-million Bangladeshis poured into West Bengal in India. The majority of those migrants were Hindus fleeing persecution (rape, murder, forced conversion, etc.) from Muslims.

    In subsequent years, the bulk of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh were Muslims seeking to escape poverty.
    India’s Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said last summer that almost 1.4-million illegal Bangladeshis have migrated to India over the past decade alone.

    Ramachandran described the illegal immigration from Bangladesh as a “big problem” and that the government is dealing with it.

    The rhetoric against illegal Bangladeshi immigration in India is strikingly similar to what right-wing American politicians say about illegal Mexican immigrants –claiming they pose a threat to the economy and very identity of the U.S.

    Moreover, some Indian lawmakers allege that many Bangladeshi immigrants also pose a dire threat to India through criminal activity and terrorism.
    Ravishankar Prasad, of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has warned that illegal immigration from Bangladesh should be halted immediately. Prasad’s words are virtually a mirror image of the anti-immigrant sentiments of many Republican politicians in the western U.S.
    The bulk of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants have migrated to West Bengal, although many others have settled in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Delhi and Mumbai and even as far-away as Pakistan and the Middle East.

    One long-time Bangladeshi immigrant told Indian media: “I miss my birthplace and my brother, but this is the sacrifice we have to make so that our next generation has a better future. My son is studying to be a doctor. Do you think this would have been possible in Bangladesh?”
    Concern Universal, an international NGO, estimates that 50 Bangladeshis cross illegally into India every day.

    Indians scholars have also expressed their outrage over unrestricted immigration from Bangladesh.

    Indian historian Amalendu De noted: “There is a virtual East Bengal in West Bengal. Immigrants, both Hindus and Muslims, have come from across the border and settled in districts which share borders with Bangladesh and have slowly penetrated into other districts.”

    Immigration from Bangladesh has reportedly increased the Muslim population in West Bengal, although Hindus remain the majority.

    An Indian official complained to Indian reporters: “A spurt of new mosques and the restoration of older ones implies an increase in the Muslim population. So does the growth in madrassas and the various [advantages] given by the state government. This rise can’t only be a result of a population boom. Bangladeshi Muslims have been settling in the state.”

    By 2006, illegal immigration from Bangladesh became a dominant theme of West Bengal elections.

    West Bengal has long been ruled by a leftist, Communist government, which sympathized with illegal immigration and reportedly even encouraged it.
    The influx of illegal immigrants has prompted opposition from certain West Bengali groups, including the ‘Amra Bangali’ organization, among others.
    The opposition to illegal immigration has taken on a distinctly anti-Muslim tinge.

    An Indian Hindu nationalist website boldly states: “[The] only option for Bengali Hindus of Islamic Bangladesh and India now is to have a united homeland free from Muslims or soon like Bangladesh, east India is going to be ‘Hindu minority’ and a colony of Bangladesh! Due to social and religious development, Hindu Bengalis have [fewer] children than Muslims… [The] growing illegal [population of] Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators along with local Muslims have almost turned eastern India into 40 percent Muslim. So all Bengali Hindus need to be settled in West Bengal of secular India, along with [the] expulsion of at least all Bangladeshi Muslim migrants from here. This can be achieved soon or Bengali Hindu as a race will die.”

    The blog continues: “In Islamic Bangladesh, Hindus have no real future and may all be eliminated if [the] fanatic Islamist [government].”

    The West Bengal political organization Amra Bangali (meaning “We are Bengalis”) said it calls for the “re-organization of the territory of Bengal with all like-minded people having respect for [the] Bengali language and culture, and name this new geographical area as “Bangalistan.”

    Part of Amra Bangali’s premise is that non-Bengalis (as well as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh) are exploiting West Bengal economically at the expense of the native peoples.

    The group complains that, among other things, “refugees occupy 200,000 jobs in the jute mills, leaving thousands of local Bengalis without jobs or means of survival. Millions of rupees leave Bengal annually. Nearly 70 percent of the land and homes of Kolkata are owned by non-Bengalis. Bengal’s precious minerals such as iron and coal are sold to other states, and [West] Bengal is forced to purchase such basic staples as oil and sugar from outside the state.”
    In 2007, a blogger on the WhatisIndia.com site put the problem in starker terms:

    “The illegal immigration from Bangladesh into India’s northeast… is a time-bomb that will explode sooner or later. The 4,096-kilometer-long and porous India-Bangladesh border makes for easy crossing.”

    The blogger also said: “In Nagaland [a state in far north-eastern India], the population of Muslims, mostly illegal migrants from Bangladesh, has more than trebled in the past decade — rising from 20,000 in 1991 to more than 75,000 in 2001. Illegal migrants have settled in various Indian states, including West Bengal, Assam, Bihar… Tripura and even in Delhi.”

    The blog added: “The steady flow of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh has significantly altered the region’s demographic complexion, particularly in the border districts of West Bengal and Assam, and with important political implications. In Assam, illegal migrants affect state politics in a major way, having acquired a critical say in an estimated 50 of the state’s 126 assembly constituencies. At the same time, the steady growth of radical and militant extremists spewing Islamic jargon in Bangladesh since September 11, 2001, and Dhaka’s inability, or unwillingness, to tackle the same has raised the stakes further for India.”

    An Indian blogger named Kanchan Gupta described the illegal immigration of Bangladeshis as a “silent invasion of India” and a “grim reality.”
    Gupta alleged that Indian politicians and media are ignoring the issue of illegal immigration.

    “Those who stand to gain from the votes of India’s bogus citizens as well as those who believe that there is nothing sacred about nationality, leave alone the nation; have successfully struck the issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh off the agenda of public discourse.” Gupta wrote.

    “Any effort, no matter how feeble, to raise the issue is met not only with fierce resistance but slander and worse. Yet, the indisputable fact is that Assam and the other states in India’s northeast, as also West Bengal and Bihar, continue to face a relentless tide of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. This ‘silent invasion’ by millions of people over the years has been encouraged by the Congress [party] and the [Communist Party of India]… Illegal immigrants are not only encouraged by these parties to enter India they are also provided with ‘documents’ to help them settle on land that belongs to others.”

    Gupta specifically accuses left-wing politicians in West Bengal of encouraging illegal immigration in order to provide more (illegal) support for them during elections.

    “Their names are entered on voters’ lists, thus creating a vast vote-bank of aliens who legally have no right to vote in India.” he wrote.

    “This fraud has been perpetrated over the decades and the Congress [party] has been its beneficiary in Assam, while in West Bengal the Left has used Bangladeshis to inflate its vote-share significantly.”

    Gupta focuses on Assam, in India’s extreme northeast as a particular battleground.

    “Assam is facing external aggression and internal disturbance on account of large-scale illegal migration of Bangladeshi nationals and it becomes the duty of the Union of India to take all measures for protection of the State of Assam because it poses a threat to the integrity and security of the North-Eastern region,” he declared.

    Gupta directly links increased illegal immigration to the ambition of corrupt Indian politicians.
    “There may not be sufficient political will to detect and deport foreigners from Indian soil, but there’s tremendous will to protect illegal immigrants,” he said.
    Gupta even accused the Communist Party in West Bengal of “disguising” illegal Bangladeshi immigrants as Indian nationals, at the expense of the latter.

    “[The Communist Party in West Bengal] has… instructed its cadre to facilitate [the settlement of Bangladeshis] as ‘Indian nationals’, often at the expense of genuine citizens,” he wrote.

    “[Indian] Bengali farmers have woken up in the morning to find Bangladeshis squatting on their land; shops and small businesses have changed hands through distress sale engineered by the party faithful; homesteads left vacant for a day have been grabbed.”
    Gupta also alleged that the growth rate of the Muslim population in West Bengal and Assam has exceeded that of Hindus since 1971 – largely due to illegal immigration from Bangladesh.

    “The demographic change caused by illegal immigration is irrefutable,” he wrote.

    “This abnormal trend [in respective growth rates] confirms that illegal immigration is both unrestricted and unabated. The demographic change caused by illegal immigration has had serious security, political, social and economic consequences.”

    Due to their poverty and Islamic faith, Gupta contends, the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants pose a grave security risk to India.

    “[They] live in ghettos and are prone to religious extremism, and are thus easy recruits for terrorist organizations aided and abetted by Pakistan,” he stated.
    “Those immigrants who move on to other States across India carry with them radical views and many serve as scouts and foot soldiers for… [terrorist outfits].”

    Most startlingly of all, perhaps, Gupta made an explicit connection between Bangladeshi immigrants in India to illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States.

    Regarding the economic impact of illegal immigration, Gupta charged: “Local wages, especially in the unskilled sector, are being undercut; farmland is being encroached upon; and urban slums are coming up at an alarming rate. In many ways, Bangladesh is turning into India’s Mexico. Tragically, the Government chooses to ignore the reality; the media pretends the reality does not exist.”

    Tapan Ghosh is a Bengali Hindu who formed “Hindu Samhati” (Hindu Solidarity Movement) in 2008 in order to protect Hindus from what he describes as “persecution” by Muslim Bangladeshi immigrants.

    He told Fox News in the U.S.: “The [1971] liberation movement for Bangladesh was characterized by an escalation of atrocities against the Hindus and pro-liberation Muslims. Hindus were specifically singled out because they were considered a hindrance to the Islamization of East Pakistan. In March 1971, the government of Pakistan and its supporters in Bangladesh launched a violent operation… to crush all pro-liberation activities. Bangladeshi government figures put the death toll at 300,000, though nearly 3 million Hindus were never accounted for and are presumed dead.”

    Ghosh claimed Muslim immigrants in India are now attacking Hindus and forcibly seeking to convert Hindu girls to Islam. He has demanded that the Indian government halt illegal immigration from Bangladesh and deport undocumented Muslims back to Bangladesh.

    “The establishment of massive Saudi-funded Madrasas across rural Bengal is only contributing to the growing religious extremism among Muslims, [and] implementation of Sharia laws by [Islamic] courts is quite prevalent in many villages,” he said.

    Thus, while Indians are often the target of anti-immigrant rhetoric in many western countries, particularly Britain and the United States, Indians themselves are using the same inflammatory language against unwanted immigrants in their own country.
    - tapan ghosh, ibtimes
     
  4. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    Deport illegal Bangladeshi immigrants

    BHUBANESWAR: The Bharat Rakhya Manch, an apolitical organisation, urged the State Government to launch a special drive to identify the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and take necessary measures for their repatriation.

    In a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Manch national secretary Anil Dhir expressed concern over the increasing infiltration of Bangladeshis and the State Government’s lack of concern to the problem.

    Alleging that the infiltrators are mostly engaged in illegal trades like counterfeit currency circulation, cattle smuggling, scrap trade, poaching of endangered species, human trafficking, drugs and� highway robberies, the Manch said the crime records of the coastal districts bear testimony to this.

    All the five marine police stations are defunct in the absence of trained manpower and other infrastructures, including speed boat.

    According to a BRM study, there is a daily influx of around 500 Bangladeshi citizens into the State and the population of these illegal immigrants in the state capital is more than 50,000. Major construction sites in the city have Bangladeshis working as skilled and unskilled workers, the memorandum said.

    �While the Centre and the State have turned a blind eye to the problem, Dhir said� the demographic profiles of many areas� have undergone major changes due to large-scale infiltration of Bangladeshis.

    The illegal immigrants are not only a security threat but have already started wreaking havoc to the economy.

    The State has become the hopping point for illegal immigrants who enter the porous coastal villages and many places in Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts. The Bangladeshis have outnumbered the local population in many of the coastal villages.

    The Manch requested the Chief Minister to instruct all the police stations to identify the Bangladeshi infiltrators and take measures for their deportation.

    Deport illegal Bangladeshi immigrants - South India - Orissa - ibnlive
     
  5. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    Illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, a big problem: Government

    NEW DELHI: The government today said delay in identification of nationality of illegal immigrants by Bangladesh is causing problems in deportation from India.

    "Delay in identification of nationality of illegal immigrants by Bangladesh High Commission is causing delay in deportation of illegal immigrants," Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said in the Rajya Sabha.


    He said the government has taken up the issue with the Bangladesh government.

    Nearly 1.35 lakh people from Bangladesh without valid visa were intercepted since 2001 to June 30 this year, he said, replying to a debate on a private member's bill moved by Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi.

    The minister said illegal immigrants from Bangladesh are a "big problem" and government is taking steps to deal with the issue.

    Ramachandran said after issuance of UID (unique identification card) the country would be able to check illegal immigration.

    He said the existing laws to tackle the problem are adequate. The Centre has asked the state government to implement these laws to check the problem, he added.

    Earlier, Joshi alleged that illegal immigrants are providing weapons to terrorists carrying out attacks in different cities.

    Ravishankar Prasad (BJP) said illegal immigration from Bangladesh is a threat to security, sanctity and defence of the country and should be stopped immediately.

    After the assurance given by the Minister, Joshi withdrew the bill which sought to create a national commission for identification and deportation of illegal immigrants in the country.


    Illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, a big problem: Government - Economic Times
     

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