On Saturday, the Minister of State for Home in Maharashtra, Shambhuraj Desai, informed the Legislative Assembly that 3,341 people staying in the state are suspected of being illegal immigrants from Bangladesh while 603 people had been sent back to their home country in the last four years. He added, “A total of 660 cases have been lodged against people for not having Indian citizenship.”
Last month, at least 22 Bangladeshis (12 women) illegally staying in the state were apprehended in Maharastra’s Arnala area in Palghar district, roughly 60 kilometres away from Mumbai.
In January this year, the Saki Naka police arrested 3 illegal immigrants, namely, Abdul Halim, Munir Shaikh and Saiful Muslim who entered West Bengal from Bangladesh and reached Mumbai 8 years ago. The cops found that the Bangladesh nationals were using the IMO app to call their families in their home country. While Halim worked as a food vendor, the others worked as welders in Mumbai.
Another illegal immigrant from Bangladesh named Jamal alias Shaikh Soloman Mulla was nabbed by The Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) of Pune City Police on March 6. The investigation revealed that he came to India more than a decade ago by illegally crossing the India-Bangladesh border. While he didn’t have any valid passport and visa, he had an Aadhar card and a PAN card in his possession.
These documents were obtained by submitting forged documents. He owned a paan shop in Budhwar Peth area of Pune. Police revealed that Jamal got married to a woman who is also a Bangladeshi national, and the couple was involved in flesh trade in the Budhwar Peth area.
Earlier, the Raj Thackeray-led party has doubled down on its strategy of cornering the Uddhav Thackeray government on the issue of pervasive illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan in Maharashtra. “Bangladeshi and Pakistani infiltrators need to be evicted from India. If this is your stand, then you need to clean up these colonies of infiltrators which have cropped up in your own backyard in Bandra first”, read the poster put up by MNS workers outside Matoshree.