The demographic imbalance in Uttarakhand has become a cause of concern for the government and the administration of the state. Security agencies are concerned over the fact that there has been an unprecedented increase in the Muslim population in specific areas of the state bordering Nepal, which is seen as problematic.
Seeing a specific conspiracy behind the sudden surge in the Muslim population in several districts of Uttarakhand, the security agencies had alerted the state Home Ministry.
In light of these circumstances, the security agencies had submitted a report to the Home Ministry earlier this year, with information on such vulnerable areas.
In the study, ‘vulnerable areas’ were specified. Surprisingly, the demographic shift in the districts was presented using the 2011 census rather than the present situation, and it was shocking to see that a decade ago, the number of illegal immigrants who had settled in these places had increased 2.5-fold.
A report submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs by the security agency had marked three areas of Kumaon as sensitive. These areas are Udham Singh Nagar, Champawat and Pithoragarh. Amongst these areas, two towns of Pithoragarh, Dharchula and Jauljeevi have been tagged in the ‘extremely sensitive’ category.
Over 400 madarsas and mosques have mushroomed in districts along Nepal border
Apart from the border areas of Uttarakhand, an alert was issued for many areas in Uttar Pradesh as well. Reason being, that within the last 2 years, almost 400 new Madarsas, mosques and religious institutions have mushroomed in areas like Bahraich that has an international border with Nepal on the Northern part and also along the Indo-Nepal border that falls under the Gorakhpur-Basti division.
The report had also mentioned that, due to the sudden increase of specific ‘non-local’ groups, an exodus of the local population cannot be ruled out.
Apprehending communal disturbance, a warning has been issued asking authorities to take precautionary measures, said DIG Dr Nilesh Anand Bharane. According to intelligence agencies inputs, a conspiracy to divide India based on demographic imbalance is also believed to have been devised.
Therefore, as per the Uttarakhand Government directives, the intelligence agencies are scrutinising every detail and keeping a strict vigil on the border areas. The reason for this sudden excessive population growth will be only identified after further inquiry.
Possibility of building a corridor to connect Pakistan?
According to a Dainik Jagran report, security agencies have revealed that these illegal settlers are attempting to build a premeditated corridor connecting Uttarakhand, Bangladesh, Bihar, Nepal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab. The possibility of connecting Pakistan with this corridor has also been stated. In fact, according to the reports, in the last 10 years, a large number of Muslims have been driven to infiltrate through this corridor under the guise of being refugees.
Security agencies claim that Pakistan’s ISI is active in India through Nepal. According to reports, madarsas or Islamic religious schools are being established primarily in locations that are crucial in terms of war policy. This list includes the Uttarakhand districts of Pithoragarh, Udham Singh Nagar, and Champawat, as well as the Uttar Pradesh divisions of Gorakhpur and Basti.
Uttarakhand being a border state, the police and the district administrators have been ordered to ensure regular meetings of the proposed district-level peace committees and “identify areas where antisocial elements are reported”.
Notably, Nanital, the Himalayan resort town in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand has been one of the worst affected as there has been a considerable change in the demography. The concern is that the kutcha houses which were initially built in the upper hill, Barapathar, and other sensitive and restricted locations behind the CRST school in Nanital, have overnight been converted to pucca illegal structures. In addition, a number of reports of illegal encroachment of land have been received in various locations. Locals say that almost all inhabitants are ‘migrant’ Muslims.
Speaking on the changing demography in the state, Gajraj Singh Bisht, former state general secretary of the BJP in Uttarakhand stated that “initially, these Muslims would come to hold your feet. They will then beg you with folded hands. But, when their count grows from one to ten, they will not even let you access their streets.
According to the 2011 census, Uttarakhand, which was carved out of Uttar Pradesh 21 years ago, has an 83 per cent Hindu population. Muslims, the second-largest group after Hindus, make up 14 per cent of the population of the state. Sikhs, Jains, Christians, and Buddhists make up the remaining 3 per cent of the population.