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How illegal immigration into Bengal has yet again fuelled demands for a Greater East Pakistan

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    New Delhi, July 12: In the early 1990s, the Research and Analysis Wing carried out a daredevil operation in Bangladesh against the activities of the Jamaat-e-Islami. The intention behind the operation was a larger one and India was clearly worried about the rise of illegal immigration which the Jamaat was carrying out at the behest of the ISI.

    How illegal immigration into Bengal has yet again fuelled demands for a Greater East Pakistan

    The agenda was a larger one and after losing out on Bangladesh, the ISI wanted to infiltrate as many Muslims as possible in a bid to either merge a portion of India with Bangladesh or divide the nation.

    Vijay Shukla was in charge of the Bangladesh operations and he had to undertake a mission that required utmost secrecy, lest word got out that India is interfering in Bangladesh's internal affairs. Shukla went on to assign Sujal Rath to orchestrate the destruction of the Jamaat camps deep within Bangladesh.

    Former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing, Amar Bhushan who has written about this mission in his latest book- The Zero Cost Mission/The Wily Agent says that they were alarmed by the spurt in illegal immigration into India. Militancy was not exactly the problem and the Jamaat was not too big an outfit back then.The problem was that they were helping the ISI's larger design of increasing illegal immigrations into India, Bhushan tells OneIndia.

    Greater East Pakistan/Bangladesh

    The illegal immigration that takes place assumes worrying propositions. An intelligence file clearly suggests that illegal immigrations from Bangladesh are part of a devious agenda to set up a Greater East Pakistan/Bangladesh.

    The primary targets in India are West Bengal and the North Eastern states that the ISI planned to merge with Bangladesh. In this context we must re-visit what Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had to say in his book. "It would be wrong to think that Kashmir is the only dispute that divides India and Pakistan, though undoubtedly the most significant. One at least is nearly as important as the Kashmir dispute, that of Assam and some districts of India adjacent to East Pakistan. To these Pakistan has very good claims."

    Late Bangladeshi leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his book, Eastern Pakistan: Its Population and Economics, says, "Because Eastern Pakistan must have sufficient land for its expansion and because Assam has abundant forests and mineral resources, coal, petroleum etc, Eastern Pakistan must include Assam to be financially and economically strong".

    Illegal immigration continues to be the biggest danger in Bengal and North East as it creates a great deal of duress to the security agencies. It also ensures that there is conflict with the locals and this in turn throws the law and order situation out of gear.

    The azaadi moment:

    Amar Bhushan points out to a recent television debate in which a Maulvi is heard asking for a separate nation. This is a new debate that has emerged after the demand to have a Sharia court in every district was proposed. Some even went to the extent of arguing that if this is not permitted then the Muslims should be given a different country.

    The demand for azaadi was once again raised a few years back and this time it was at Murshidabad in West Bengal.

    The Intelligence had picked up information that a group of highly radicalised people were making attempts to take on the establishment. These persons who were in touch with their handlers in Bangladesh were gradually building a momentum in the area and had decided to declare freedom from India. The Intelligence says that the plan was hatched several years back and it was decided that these elements wanted to declare freedom and fight to merge with Bangladesh.

    Secret meetings were held in madrasas and other areas to plan the movement. It was decided to either merge Murshidabad with Bangladesh or remain independent. The plotters had even managed to rope in several like-minded locals into their fold. The funds too were being raised through various mechanisms that included fake currency peddling and also donations. Bangladesh trained terrorists were preparing for a launch into this region and carry out a series of spectacular attacks. However, there were some tough measures that finally foiled the movement, a highly placed source said.

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