New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS): The Central government is taking adequate steps to curb illegal infiltration from Bangladesh into northeastern States like Assam, the Lok Sabha was told on Tuesday.
"The government has taken steps like equipping the BSF (Border Security Force) with modern equipment, reducing gaps between border posts and intensifying patrolling along the India-Bangladesh border. Fencing along the international border has been strengthened and a scheme for flood lighting along the border is being implemented," said union Minister of State for Home Affairs M. Ramachandran.
He was responding to a question on the influx of illegal Bangladeshi migrants into Assam, particularly its Bodo areas.
"We are also taking up the issue with Bangladesh at various fora. Dhaka has been urged to check infiltration by its nationals. India and Bangladesh are also jointly working on coordinated patrolling, identifying vulnerable gaps and strengthening riverine patrolling," added Ramachandran.
The minister also said that adequate measures were in place for detecting illegal migrants. "Thirty-six foreigners tribunals have been set up for the detection of illegal migrants in Assam. In order to ensure speedier disposal of cases in these tribunals, the Foreigners (Tribunal) Order, 1964 has been amended in April this year to dispose off cases within 60 days," he said.
On being asked whether illegal migrants had also grabbed a large chunk of tribal land in Assam, Ramachandran said: "There have been instances of encroachment and transfer of land in Assam's tribal areas by ineligible persons. The state government is taking all necessary steps for removing encroachment in tribal areas."