New Delhi: Around 14,000 Bangladeshis nationals have been sent back to their native country or turned away from entering India at the Indo-Bangladesh border since the year 2019, a Border Security Force (BSF) report accessed by ANI revealed. The report pointed out that as many as 9,233 Bangladeshis have been held at International Border (IB) while they were trying to flee back after their ‘illegal’ stay in the country.
“At least 4,896 Bangladeshi nationals were held while trying to enter India from the neighbouring country during the same period i.e. 1 January 2019 to 28 April 2022,” it said further.
In over three years, about 14,361 Bangladeshi nationals were intercepted crossing the border. The maximum number of illegal migrants entering or leaving India from Bangladesh take place in the southern parts of Bengal owing to the unfenced and riverine borders.
A majority – 11,034 Bangladeshi nationals out of a total of 14,361 Bangladeshi nationals held at IB during the infiltration attempts – were held at the South Bengal border. The South Bengal border runs from Sundarban to Malda.
A senior official from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) added that over the period they have changed their approach while dealing with the problem.
“To deal with illegal immigration problem at Bangladesh borders, we have asked security forces to hand them over to the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) as a goodwill gesture, after verifying if they were not involved in any criminal activities in India. Because there was no purpose of putting them in jail,” he said.
In December 2019, after the Parliament cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, there was a surge in the migration of illegal immigrants. In the year 2020, only 1,214 immigrants attempted to enter India while 3,463 left the country. A nationwide lockdown was also enforced in the same year because of the Covid-19.
India shares a 4,096-km-long boundary with Bangladesh of which the South Bengal Frontier shares 913.32 kms.