NEW DELHI, Aug 1 - The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has denied reports that it has issued direction to the Government of Assam for granting refugee status to illegal Hindu Bangladeshi immigrants.
In reply to a Lok Sabha question by AIUDF MP Sirajuddin Ajmal, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the Centre has not issued any direction to the Government of Assam for granting refugee status to illegal Hindu Bangladeshi immigrants.
However, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 provides an enabling legal provision for grant of Indian citizenship to persons belonging to minority communities, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who had entered India on or before December 31, 2014 due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution. The Bill is under consideration of a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
In a separate reply, Rijiju said that there is no proposal under consideration to provide financial compensation to Hindu refugee families who have migrated from Bangladesh on the lines of compensation being provided to refugees from the Pak-occupied Kashmir.
Meanwhile, in a separate reply, the minister said that illegal immigrants are those who enter into the country without valid travel documents in clandestine and surreptitious manner. As such, there is no accurate data with regard to their number in the country, he added.
The Central government has requested the state governments to set up special task force in each district for detection, identification and interception of illegal immigrants, Rijiju said. Further, the state governments have also been given powers under Section 3(2) (c) of the Foreigners Act to deport illegal migrants.
In order to prevent further illegal migration, the Central government has enhanced domination of the borders by security forces, besides erection of fencing and installation of surveillance equipment. The Centre has also taken up the issue of illegal migration with the neighbouring countries during bilateral meetings, he said.
Significantly, Bangladesh recently said that India has never taken up the issue of illegal influx with the Bangladesh government.
In reply to another question by AIUDF MP Radheshyam Biswas, the minister said the border floodlight installation programme is being carried out along the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangladesh borders. The sanctioned floodlight work along the Indo-Bangladesh border is targeted for completion by December, 2018, he added.