The BJP-led government in Assam came to power on the basis of promising deliverance on many issues, one of them was to put an end to the Bangladeshi illegal immigrant infiltration into Assam. Commenting on the government’s commitment, The Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday stated, “the target for completion of stealing of Indo-Bangladesh border is December this year”.
This was in the context of the state governments promise to secure the Assam’s border with Bangladesh in a timely and comprehensive manner. Assam shares a border of 262 kilometres with Bangladesh.
In this 262 KM stretch, there are many areas which cannot be fenced with physical barriers due to the geographical limitations. There are riverine areas along the borders which are to be secured by non-physical barriers and the land boundaries would be secured by deploying smart fencing to deter the illegal immigrants from crossing over to the Indian side.
The issue of illegal immigrants in the state is not a new one. It first started in the immediate aftermath of 1971 war when a huge number of illegal immigrants entered India. This lead to an agitation by the natives of Assam, which then lead to the signing of the Assam Accord. The accord seeks to deport all foreigners who entered the state after 1971. The recent initiative to secure the border is consistent with the commitment made in the accord.
Sonowal furthered that his government has also been cracking down on corruption in addition to taking measures to prevent the influx of illegal immigrants in the State. The chief minister was speaking at an event marking the completion of two years of his government in Assam.