Shivraj Patil's comes under flak for statement on migrants

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Patna, May 22 : The youth brigade of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staged a demonstration here to protest against what it termed as Home Minister Shivraj Patil's lax attitude towards illegal migrants from Bangladesh, granting them the freedom to stay in India.

"Shivraj Patil said that India is a democratic country and anybody could stay here. He said that everybody has the freedom to stay here. But what I want to ask is whether there is a law permitting Bangladeshi migrants to come here illegally? "Do the terrorists from Afghanistan and Pakistan also have the freedom to stay here?," asked Pradip Dubey, President, youth brigade of the BJP.

Activists burnt an effigy of Patil and demanded that Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) law be implemented stringently.

BJP-ruled Rajasthan was rocked by a series of blasts on May 13 as more than 60 people died and 150 were injured. The blasts are suspected to be the handiwork of the Bangladesh-based terror group Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HuJI).

Investigations into the blasts in Ajmer, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and recently in aipur show the alleged involvement of illegal Bangladeshi nationals.

The Centre which initially advised the Rajasthan Government to house illegal migrants in transit camps in the state, later retracted when Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said that the suggestion smacked of a Guantanamo-type of a camp.

The Guantanamo Bay camp is a deadly gulag where US security agencies keep terror suspects.

The remark did not go down well with the Central Government that had been trading charges with the state Rajasthan Government on intelligence failure before the serial blasts.

Patil also dubbed Raje's reference to the Guantanamo Bay as her failure to act tough against terrorists. He also added for good measure that India was a democratic country and hence people were free to stay in the country.

Thousands of migrants from Bangladesh have crossed over into India in search of food and work and spread out across various states as a cheaper labour and work force.

They have also changed the demographic character of several states and have become a sizeable votebank.

Reports have appeared that certain Bangladeshi insurgent groups have been involved in terrorist incidents in India.

To prevent the illegal immigration, the Home Ministry has taken various measures like construction of border fencing, flood lighting and roads to enable more effective patrolling.

Assignment of border guarding duties on the Indo-Bangladesh border to a single force, the Border Security Force (BSF), augmentation of its strength through additional battalions, reduction of gaps between border outposts, and provision of modern surveillance and other equipment and gadgetry to BSF are some other steps.

The Home Ministry has also been issuing instructions to State Governments and Union Territories from time to time to take sustained action to detect foreign nationals, including Bangladeshi nationals, staying illegally in the country.

As many as 32 Foreign Tribunals under the provisions of the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 have also been constituted in Assam for detention of illegal migrants and foreigners.

ANI

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