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Influx in NE can�t be compared with western sector

By R DUTTA CHOUDHURY

GUWAHATI, May 24 - Though the Government of India is planning to provide citizenship to people belonging to minority communities in the countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh , who entered India with or without valid documents by bringing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the situation in the western part of the country is totally different from that of the eastern part, where the illegal migration has posed a threat to the identity of the indigenous people and no one is quite sure of the number of infiltrators.

Highly placed official sources admitted before The Assam Tribune that the situation in the states located in the western side of the country cannot be equated with that of Assam and other states in the North East. The western states have not faced large scale infiltration of foreign nationals from Afghanistan and Pakistan, while, the situation is quite different in Assam. It is a fact that during the partition of the country, India as a whole witnessed large scale migration of people from Pakistan but the flow trickled down in later years in the western states, which is not the case in Assam.

Giving examples of the difference of the situation in western and eastern states, sources pointed out that it is not easy for anyone from Pakistan and Afghanistan to enter India illegally without valid documents. It is a fact that insurgents are still entering India from Pakistan through Jammu and Kashmir, but it is almost impossible for common people to enter India illegally from those countries because of the strict vigil maintained along the border. That is why, majority of the people who entered India from Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent years came with proper travel documents and they stayed back citing that they were facing religious persecution in their own countries.

Sources revealed that the Government of India has records of people who came from Afghanistan and Pakistan and stayed back in India. As those people came with travel documents, the Government is fully aware of their date of entry into India, their place or origin, etc., and there will be no problem in identifying them. Most such people are now staying in Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. As their number is not very large, they are not posing any threat to the identity of the indigenous people of the states where they are staying and that is why, those states have not seen any opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

But the situation is completely different in Assam and other states of the North East. Sources admitted that illegal migration from Bangladesh is a serious problem in this part of the country and it posed a grave threat to the identity of the indigenous people. The demographic pattern in Assam is changing due to illegal migration from Bangladesh, which is a matter of serious concern unlike the states in western India where the migration has not changed the demography.

The border with Bangladesh is still porous and most of the migrants from the neighbouring country entered India without any valid travel document and there is no mechanism to detect which person entered on which date or whether any migrant entered India due to religious persecution. �If the Hindu migrants from Bangladesh had approached Government officials seeking shelter in India claiming that they had to escape from their country due to religious persecution immediately after their entry, it could have been possible for the Government to identify them. But as that was not the case and the infiltrators simply mingled with the local people after entering India illegally, it will be impossible to identify who entered India on which date and the reasons for their illegal entry,� sources admitted.

However, at the same time, sources said that the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) will gave a fair idea of the gravity of the situation as no such elaborate exercise was carried out in the past and during the process a large number of forged documents have already been detected.

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Influx in NE can�t be compared with western sector

GUWAHATI, May 24 - Though the Government of India is planning to provide citizenship to people belonging to minority communities in the countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh , who entered India with or without valid documents by bringing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the situation in the western part of the country is totally different from that of the eastern part, where the illegal migration has posed a threat to the identity of the indigenous people and no one is quite sure of the number of infiltrators.

Highly placed official sources admitted before The Assam Tribune that the situation in the states located in the western side of the country cannot be equated with that of Assam and other states in the North East. The western states have not faced large scale infiltration of foreign nationals from Afghanistan and Pakistan, while, the situation is quite different in Assam. It is a fact that during the partition of the country, India as a whole witnessed large scale migration of people from Pakistan but the flow trickled down in later years in the western states, which is not the case in Assam.

Giving examples of the difference of the situation in western and eastern states, sources pointed out that it is not easy for anyone from Pakistan and Afghanistan to enter India illegally without valid documents. It is a fact that insurgents are still entering India from Pakistan through Jammu and Kashmir, but it is almost impossible for common people to enter India illegally from those countries because of the strict vigil maintained along the border. That is why, majority of the people who entered India from Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent years came with proper travel documents and they stayed back citing that they were facing religious persecution in their own countries.

Sources revealed that the Government of India has records of people who came from Afghanistan and Pakistan and stayed back in India. As those people came with travel documents, the Government is fully aware of their date of entry into India, their place or origin, etc., and there will be no problem in identifying them. Most such people are now staying in Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. As their number is not very large, they are not posing any threat to the identity of the indigenous people of the states where they are staying and that is why, those states have not seen any opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

But the situation is completely different in Assam and other states of the North East. Sources admitted that illegal migration from Bangladesh is a serious problem in this part of the country and it posed a grave threat to the identity of the indigenous people. The demographic pattern in Assam is changing due to illegal migration from Bangladesh, which is a matter of serious concern unlike the states in western India where the migration has not changed the demography.

The border with Bangladesh is still porous and most of the migrants from the neighbouring country entered India without any valid travel document and there is no mechanism to detect which person entered on which date or whether any migrant entered India due to religious persecution. �If the Hindu migrants from Bangladesh had approached Government officials seeking shelter in India claiming that they had to escape from their country due to religious persecution immediately after their entry, it could have been possible for the Government to identify them. But as that was not the case and the infiltrators simply mingled with the local people after entering India illegally, it will be impossible to identify who entered India on which date and the reasons for their illegal entry,� sources admitted.

However, at the same time, sources said that the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) will gave a fair idea of the gravity of the situation as no such elaborate exercise was carried out in the past and during the process a large number of forged documents have already been detected.

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