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Bangladesh reluctant to take back illegal foreigners

BANGLADESHI DEPORTATION

Patowary says the State has been able to detect 90,020 Bangladeshis till December 31, 2017

STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 8:  Even though India and Bangladesh agreed way back in 2013 to follow the policy of official deportation of all Bangladeshis staying illegally in India, the Bangladesh Government is giving a lukewarm response to implement the policy on the ground. The verification reports of the addresses of 284 illegal Bangladeshis as declared by foreigners tribuls in Assam, which have been sent to Bangadesh, are yet to come, pending process of deportation.
 Sources told The Sentinel that such a poor response in case of address verification by the Bangladesh Government has come despite the fact that the neighbouring country assured India of  extending full cooperation in case of taking back all its citizens who illegally entered India. Owing to poor response to the address verification process, the Assam Government has not yet been able to deport 284 illegal Bangladeshis. Dispur sends the verification request to the Centre and the Centre forwarded the same to Dhaka.
Prior to March, 2013 there was a system by the Border Police to push back declared illegal foreigners to Bangladesh through the Indo-Bangla border. But the new policy adopted by the two countries in March, 2013 had done away with the system of pushing back. Instead Bangladesh had agreed to the system of deportation of illegal Bangladeshis. Though the agreement sounds good, it has not yielded much positive results on the ground, with India has so far been able to deport only two declared illegal foreigners and 72 convicted illegal foreigners to the neighbouring tion.
There is a difference between declared illegal foreigners and convicted illegal foreigners. Declared foreigners are those entering India illegally without any valid document. Convicted illegal foreigners, on the other hand, are those who enter India with valid documents but continue to stay in the country even after expiry of the term of their legal documents.
Parliamentary Affair Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary recently informed the Assam Assembly that the State has been successful in sending back 769 illegal Bangladeshis to Bangladesh in the last 10 years. Out of 769 such illegal foreigners 74 of them had been “officially deported” to Bangladesh, he said.
Patowary said the State has been able to detect 90,020 Bangladeshis till December 31, 2017.
The BJP before coming to power at the Centre in 2014 had vowed to send back all illegal Bangladeshis from Assam to their homeland with bag and baggage. But with only a year left for the BJP to complete its rule at the Centre for full five years, the State Government has not been able to deport detected foreigners to their country as expected. Altogether 920 declared illegal foreigners are staying in six detention camps in the State. It is high time the BJP-led Government in Delhi took up the issue with its counterpart in Bangladesh to deport illegal foreigners. Dispur should also pursue the issue with the Centre.

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Ankur Kalita