GUWAHATI, Feb 24 - Nearly 30 per cent watch posts meant for keeping a tab on illegal infiltrators are lying nonfunctional in the State even as the law enforcing agencies continue to remain clueless about 37,789 untraced illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who came to Assam post 1971.
These untraced migrants include those who had denied the Court summons and also those who had been declared as Bangladeshi nationals by the Foreigners� Tribunals in the State.
The law enforcers could only apprehend 678 illegal Bangladeshi nationals who had entered the State after 1971 and the number of such persons who had died during the period stands at 922.
As far as the nonfunctional watch posts are concerned, official sources revealed that those lying defunct even include the ones located on the Indo-Bangla border. In fact, in Dhubri district, which is believed to be one of the major entry points for infiltrators from Bangladesh, half of the total sanctioned watch posts are lying nonfunctional.
�Even in South Salmara, nine out of 13 watch posts are lying nonfunctional,� top official sources told The Assam Tribune.
The present status report on the watch posts, which were developed as a second line of defence to check illegal infiltration from Bangladesh, reveals that while the number of functional watch posts is 120, almost 40 posts are either washed away or there is no manpower or proper structure in place.
A senior Assam Police official posted in a district bordering Bangladesh even said that on most occasions, watch posts personnel are unofficially attached with the local police stations where they perform duties other than they are required to do.
�The watch posts personnel are ideally supposed to survey villages, check infiltration and take legal action against the infiltrators. Unfortunately, the state of affair is not what it ideally should be,� the senior official pointed out.