NEW DELHI: Asserting that illegal immigrants like Rohingyas not only pose grave security concerns but also infringe on the rights of Indian citizens, the ministry of home affairs has written to all states asking them to identify all illegal immigrants and deport them.
The government has said in its communique sent to all states last week that the illegal immigrants are vulnerable to be recruited by the terror groups. Officials say that it’s not healthy for India as already over 2 crore illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are living in India.
The communication states that the rise of terrorism in the last few decades has become a serious concern for most nations as illegal migrants are more vulnerable to getting recruited by terrorist organisations.
“These illegal immigrants not only infringe on the rights of Indian citizens but also pose grave security challenges,” said MHA in its communication sent to all the states on August 8.
Infiltration of (the Rohingyas) from Rakhine state of Myanmar into Indian Territory, especially in recent years, besides being burden on the limited resources of the country also aggravates security challenges posed to India, it said.
The MHA has stated that, “Due to a variety of reasons, including political and economic turmoil in neighbouring countries, people from such countries often enter India. There are cultural and ethnic similarities, on many occasions such migration goes unnoticed and they settle in Indian Territory”.
The home ministry communication said India is a large country having its border with many countries. People in the sub-continent have a common history and share many similarities in physical looks.
It has also directed the state governments to set up a task force at district level to identify and deport illegally-staying foreign nationals.
The intelligence agencies have often expressed concerns over large number of Rohingyas crossing over to India as they feel that terror organisations in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts may exploit the illegal immigrants and use them against India.
The groups like Indian Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba have, in past, expressed solidarity with Rohingyas. In fact, IM had carried out the July 7, 2013 blasts at Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya to avenge the killing of Rohingyas in Myanmar. Similarly, LeT bomb-maker Abdul Karim Tunda had disclosed after his arrest in 2013 that he was trying to recruit Rohingya Muslims. Pakistan-based chief of LeT Hafiz Saeed has often spoken in support of Rohingyas.
Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju had said in parliament last week that, according to available data, more than 14,000 Rohingyas, registered with the UNHCR, are presently staying in India.
“However, some inputs indicate that around 40,000 Rohingyas are staying in India illegally and the Rohingyas are largely located in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan,” he had said.
The MHA and central agencies’ officials say that state police and governments need to be serious about illegal immigrants issue as they can only identify such people and help in deporting them.
About the illegal Bangladeshis problem, the government had said last year in the parliament that there were around two crore illegal Bangladeshi migrants staying in India.