The BJP's vision document for Assam assures that if voted to power, it would seal the Indo-Bangladesh border.
This would curb to a large extent the immense problem of illegal immigration which has become a headache for India.
While sealing the border is the need of the hour considering the high number of infiltration coupled with smuggling of cattle, drugs and fake currency, there are also a host of other measures that need to be undertaken.
On December 17 2014, the Supreme Court while hearing a writ petition filed by Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha and others questioned the central government as to why it had chosen to leave the border with Bangladesh porous.
Further, the court also directed the government to erect fences and better the vigilance to prevent illegal immigration.
Fencing need to be coupled with political will:
Fencing alone may not solve the problem. Those wanting to infiltrate can always find a way through the fence. One must also note that the demand to seal or fence this border had been made since 1965.
This request came from the Assam government as the state had become a hub for illegal immigrants.
There was some amount of effort made to fence the border. There were a couple of issues such as shortage of barbed wire and the difficulty to move out a group of people which marred the project.
In the states that border Bangladesh, there has been a major problem of illegal immigrants. Fencing alone will not solve the problem and this has to be compulsorily be coupled with a political will.
Over the years, the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants have become a part of a huge vote bank. On arrival they are issued with Voter's identification cards and Aaddhar cards. These migrants after getting these cards go across the country in search of work.
However it is mandatory for them to reach the polling booth at the time of an election, failing which their identification cards will be taken away and they would be packed off to their home land.
The Assam labour:
In the states of Karnataka and Kerala there has been a major influx of people from the North Eastern states. Most of them take up work at Rs 150 per day in coffee and tea estate.
They would never reveal their identity, but claim that they are from Assam. They would even adopt a new name when they come in search of work and more often than not they take Hindu names.
There is no doubt that most of these persons have come in search of livelihood as their home country has nothing to offer. They work hard and collect money to be sent back home.
However, come election time and nothing can stop them from going back to either West Bengal or Assam. They go away for nearly 45 days and return after casting their vote.
While there is a humanitarian touch to this story, it still cannot be allowed as it is purely illegal. They have no refugee status as granting this means they cannot vote in India.
It is a well oiled racket by some of the political parties, says an officer. Permission to live in India is granted on the guarantee they will vote for them says the officer.
With an identification card, they move about like Indians, while the harsh truth is that they are not.