GUWAHATI, April 7 - The Home Department today said that not a single illegal migrant who had entered India (Assam) following or fearing persecution in their home country has filled up the online long time visa application form introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs to facilitate their stay.
Home Commissioner LS Changsan informed that the Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) which was introduced about a year back for the persecuted minorities in Bangladesh and other countries by the MHA has not attracted any such migrant so far.
Changsan made the statement during a skill development programme organized for the members of the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) by the Home Department here today.
�The basic reason or deterrent seems to be the fact that such migrants will have to declare themselves as an illegal foreigner first before he or she chooses to be covered or protected under the SOP introduced for the persecuted minorities or those who had left the country fearing persecution,� Changsan said.
Meanwhile, during the skill development programme, Additional Chief Secretary TY Das said that unlike the push-back policy, which was stopped since 2013, the process of formal deportation of illegal migrants is very lengthy and tedious.
It was also stated that compared to 27,285 migrants, who were pushed back, the government effected formal deportation of over 60 such migrants in the last three years. The process has, however, gained momentum in the last one year so during which nearly 30-odd such illegal migrants were deported back to Bangladesh.
Earlier, giving the inaugural speech in the skill development programme, Justice Ujjal Bhuyan of Gauhati High Court favoured the need for using gadgets like cell phones, especially when it comes to issuing and serving notice to a suspected migrant after the reference is received by the Superintendent of Police (SP) concerned.
Justice Bhuyan also threw light on a range of issues concerning the effectiveness of the members of the Tribunals and suggested that personal prejudices has to be avoided while dealing with such cases. �The services of village heads and other respectable citizens of the locality can also be availed during the process of serving the notice,� he opined.
He also urged the members of the FTs to state their opinion in a precise way and to stay specific to the reference made by the SP concerned.
Justice BP Katakey, former Gauhati High Court judge and present Member (Judicial) Armed Forces Tribunal also echoed similar opinion on the need for passing shorter orders or opinions and asked the members of the FTs to ensure expeditious disposal.
He further urged the members of the FTs to devote more time for registration of the pending reference so that no illegal migrant is given a leeway even for a brief period.
Earlier, Additional Chief Secretary TY Das while addressing the members of the FTs said that although the situation may vary from district to district, the application of law has to be uniform. Justice (Retired) AC Upadhyay, Director, Judicial Academy, Assam, Justice (Retired) BK Sharma, Gauhati High Court, Principal Secretary (Home) Hemanta Narzary, Special DGP (Border) RM Singh and Joint Secretary (Home) PK Bhagawati were also present on the occasion.