NEW DELHI, Feb 22 � The Centre has clarified that foreigners including illegal migrants staying in the country throughout the enumeration period would be counted wherever they are found. However, the foreigners having diplomatic status are not counted.
In reply to a question whether the government has any proposal to include Bangladeshi nationals living illegally in various parts of the country in the census operation, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Gurudas Kamat said that the foreigners who are expected to stay within the geographical limits of the country throughout the enumeration period are counted wherever they are found. �Nationality of persons is not canvassed as part of census,� Kamat said.
The Minister said those who are eligible for enumeration include all those who normally reside and are present in the household during the period of enumeration from February 9 to 28. Also those who are known to be normally residing and have actually stayed during a part of the enumeration period in the household and those who are known to be residing but not present at the time of visit of the enumerator.
Meanwhile, in a separate reply the Minister of State for Home Affairs said the Government is aware of illegal migration from Bangladesh into various parts of the country. However, as this activity takes place clandestinely, no specific details are available about the number of persons who are able to enter the country through illegal means.
The Minister also referred to the Supreme Court judgement of July 12 2005 in the matter of Sarbananda Sonowal Vs Government of India, which directed that all cases of illegal migrants in Assam shall be decided in the manner provided in the Foreigners Act.
The Government of India was also directed to constitute sufficient number of tribunals under the Foreigners (Tribunal) Order, 1964 to effectively deal with cases of foreigners. As per the direction 25 additional Foreigners Tribunals have been set up in Assam.