Assam’s neighbouring states on alert to contain infiltration by illegal immigrants

Days after the publishing of final draft of the National Register for Citizens (NCR) in Assam, the Northeastern states are jittery about the influx of illegal immigrants pouring into their states. N Biren Singh, Manipur Chief Minister on Thursday said that his government has already taken up precautionary measures covering all approaches into the state. He said that police check posts have been opened at the border areas and police is patrolling the areas frequently. A special check post has also been opened at state capital, Imphal and state and district level committees are formed to screen entry or presence of illegal immigrants.

Indian citizens need to have an inner line permit (ILP) to visit or stay in the state, which borders China, and foreigners need to have a restricted area permit (RAP). Arunachal Pradesh, which borders with China, has started ‘Operation Clean Drive’ across state to assist district authorities to conduct spot verification of people at all entry points along the inter-state boundary. In fact, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), apex student body in the state has asked the ‘undocumented immigrants’ to leave the state within 15 days. Last week, the Arunachal government launched a drive in various districts to identify people, who do not have the necessary permits.

Nagaland and Tripura, too, have reportedly taken measures to contain the entry of people from outside the state. Nagaland, like Arunachal Pradesh, also has restricted entry and the government has asked the residents to inform the district and police administration about ‘unusual influx of outsiders’. We had earlier reported how over a thousand alleged illegal immigrants were apprehended while trying to enter Meghalaya from Assam in trucks.

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According to the NRC, as many as 40 lakh people among the total of 3.29 crore population of Assam were potential illegal immigrants in India. Opposition parties have perceived it as an opportunity to score one over the BJP and made inflammatory remarks while the Government, and the Army on various occasions, has maintained that illegal immigrants pose a serious threat to the demography and security of the country.

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