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Why infiltrations in Bengal grew by 260 per cent

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New Delhi, May 16: The violence in West Bengal has been unprecedented and the developments in the state over the past couple of years has been worrying.

Back in 1992-93, the Research and Analysis Wing undertook an operation in Bangladesh to immobilise targets of the Jamaat-e-Islami. The operation largely dealt with stopping the Jamaat from undertaking a major operation which involved infiltrating Bangladeshis into India with a motive of creating a Greater East Pakistan.

Calamitous situation: An apathy that witnessed a 260 per cent rise in infiltration in Bengal

Infiltration has been a major worry for the Indian security agencies. When the issue is raised, several political parties cry foul as they are worried that this exercise would result in all these people being declared illegal citizens and would lose their voting rights.

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Assam recently undertook the NRC (National Register of Citizens) exercise. However according to officials with the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the situation is more worrisome in West Bengal. Amar Bhushan, a former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing says that the situation in Bengal is more calamitous when compared to the rest of the country.

Post the 1971 war, I feel we ought to have been more strict. Had we been more strict back then, we would not have reached this stage. The Bengal problem was immense and it had first been exploited by the CPI(M) and now the Trinamool Congress (TMC), he says.

He further adds that the issue is a serious one and everyone in the media and also the politicians are glossing over it. First we need to identify who is legal and who is not. Give citizenship to the genuine person. What is to be done with these people is something that would come up in the second stage, says Bhushan. The issue has to be dealt with and one cannot make up the excuse as to what is to be done with them.

From time to time attempts had been made by various parties to enumerate the illegal Bangladeshis. Several meetings have been held in the past to discuss this issue, but every time it was put saying, 'now is not the time,' he adds.

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There were a number of reports in the Home Ministry which have been buried right from the beginning. Every one kept glossing over the issue, Bhushan also says.

My question is why not have such an NRC in every state. If this is done, think of the subsidy and ration that the government would save. Another thing, Bhushan points out is that between 1971 and 1996 there had been a 266 per cent increase in the number of infiltrations from Bangladesh. The information I have suggested that post 2014, it has come down a lot, Bhushan further says while adding that if action does not continue, then the state will become another Kashmir.

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