NEW DELHI, Aug 1 - The one-man commission appointed by the Supreme Court has called for an independent investigation to unearth the nexus and the manner in which illegal migrants have settled in Assam and procured identity proofs.
In its final report to the Supreme Court on the India-Bangladesh international border, the Upamanyu Hazarika Commission has underscored the need to independently undertake an exercise as to the manner in which illegal migrants entrenched themselves in the areas where they settled, the procurement of identity proofs and various kinds of nexus in this regard.
The one-man commission was appointed in connection with a writ petition filed by the Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha and others and the report has been accepted by the apex court. The Supreme Court had appointed the commission to visit areas along the international border with Bangladesh and submit a report.
Hazarika has confirmed in his report that it was a fact that infiltrators have entrenched themselves in various parts of the State including forest land, government land and grazing reserves.
He further reported to the court that it was a fact that a large number of infiltrators have continuously come over the last several decades, numbering 50 lakh in 2001, according to a response in the Parliament.
Advocating the update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), he said the exercise would identify the citizens. The issue of verification of identity proof, whether procured legitimately or otherwise, can only be ascertained by unravelling the different processes in which infiltrators procure documents.
The inquiry will also enable quicker identification of foreigners, the report stressed.
As reported, the Supreme Court is currently monitoring the update of the NRC in Assam and has directed that the exercise should be completed by January next.
In its observation, the commission has said that during the course of executing, certain issues have been high-lighted and it is a fact, which has also been admitted by the State government as well as the Border Security Force (BSF), that the border is porous and open, and that there is very little or no regulation of those coming in from across the border to the heartland.
Significantly, in the interim report, the one-man commission has highlighted the problem faced by the BSF in the border areas because of the non-lethal policy. The policy requires the BSF to restrain from using extreme measures, except in exceptional circumstances. Apparently, smugglers are aware of this and provoke BSF personnel on the ground, knowing fully well that they will come to little or no harm.