In a routine checkup, Guwahati police officers caught and detained 31 illegal Bangladeshis waiting to board Kanchenjunga Express to go to Agartala, from where they were about to enter Bangladesh, claim reports. They were reportedly coming from Karnataka, Bangalore and had no official document to ascertain their citizenship.
“They could not produce any valid document to prove their Indian citizenship. They then confessed that they hail from Bagerhat district in Khulna division of Bangladesh” Guwahati Railway Police DSP Ifethkar Alia was quoted in reports. The DSP also said that the detained include eight women and 13 children.
The Sentinel reports that one of the detainees Mohamed Suleman had Aadhar Card, PAN Card and also a voter card. He had also cast vote several times in Delhi, he reportedly confessed.
The detainees also confessed to having been in a contact of a broker called Farooq, who helps Bangladeshis to cross the India-Bangladesh illegally. The broker according to reports has now escaped. The detainees have said that this Farooq had brought them into India 2-3 years ago promising jobs.
One of the detainees Mohamed Dulal Mia claims that it is very easy to enter India through West Bengal by bribing BSF personnel. He says he entered India by bribing BSF, and now had paid ₹10,000 to Farooq for facilitating the return journey to Bangladesh.
The detainees are booked under section 14 of The Foreigners Act and section 4 of Passport Entry into India act.
The incident has reignited the long debate about the need for NRC like drives, like one that is happening in Assam in all of the north-eastern states.