GUWAHATI, March 22 � Though a report of the United Nations has exposed the gravity of the problem of migration into India from Bangladesh, well-known security analyst and former GoC of the 4 Corps of the Army, Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekhatkar, is of the view that the actual figure of the number of Bangladeshi nationals staying illegally in India would be much more than the figure quoted in the report. He also suggested that a mechanism should be worked out to provide constitutional safeguards to the indigenous people of Assam to prevent a foreign national from becoming the Chief Minister of the State in future.
A report on international migration by the United Nations revealed that in the year 2013, persons from Bangladesh residing in India constituted the largest �bilateral stock� of international migrants in the southern part of the world. The total number of Bangladeshi migrants in India in that year was estimated to be to the tune of 3.2 million.
However, Lt Gen Shekhatkar expressed the view that the actual number of Bangladeshi migrants in India would be much more than the figure quoted by the UN report. He pointed out that even the Government of India does not have any estimate of the number of foreigners staying illegally in the country.
The most unfortunate part is that Bangladeshi nationals have managed to obtain forged documents to get voting rights and there is a threat that they may get political powers in the days to come, Lt Gen Shekhatkar said.
He warned that the indigenous people of Assam would face serious problems when Bangladeshi nationals will manage to get political power and one would not be surprised if a person born in Bangladesh becomes the Chief Minister of the State in 2021.
Lt Gen Shekhatkar pointed out that there is a greater design behind the systematic infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals. Infiltration has resulted in growth of illegal migrants in Assam like cancer and the ultimate aim may be to fulfil the dream of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who had said long back that Assam should be included in East Pakistan.
The former 4 Corps GOC also warned that infiltration may pose a serious security threat in the days to come. He expressed the view that if any illegal migrant gains political power, he or she can very well work against the interests of the nation, while the infiltration may also result in serious ethnic clashes.