Illegal immigration into Bengal, Assam today is about land jihad, not livelihood
New Delhi, Mar 27: At a rally in Assam, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that if the BJP comes to power, laws will be implemented to tackle the problem of both land and love jihad. He said that refugees will be granted citizenship, while infiltrators will be thrown out.
In January 2020, nearly 450 persons were arrested by the Bangladesh police when they crossed over from India. That month, there was a major exodus of Illegal Bangladeshi immigrants back to their country.
Now coming to the issue of land jihad, it is a rampant problem both in Assam and West Bengal. In several parts of the country, illegal immigrants have become so powerful that they mingle with the local Muslim population and indulge in crimes. In West Bengal instances of land, jihad has been reported.
These illegal immigrants have earned a lot of money through counterfeiting and drug trade and have forcibly snatched land from the poor Hindus in Bengal.
The illegal immigrants have also played a role in acts of terror, be it at Burdwan or Bodhgaya. They have been roped in by terror groups such as the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh.
The problem with the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh is nothing new. The bigger issue is that these persons no longer come to Bengal in search of jobs and livelihood. They run a strong crime syndicate which indulges in bomb-making (Burdwan), land grabbing and the fake Indian currency racket.
Back in 2012, the Intelligence Bureau had reported that the issue was catching up like wild fire in the states of West Bengal, Kerala, Telangana (then AP) and Karnataka. The report stated that there are all sorts of people. Many are here in search of a livelihood, but then there are many who indulge in illegal activities such as smuggling as drugs and sometimes arms. They come into the country through West Bengal and gradually move into other parts of the country. While touts and middlemen help them with documents, there are others who take advantage of their poor living conditions and lure them with money in order to carry out illegal activities.
Another modus operandi that came to light recently was how illegal immigrants were trying to get themselves registered as Indian citizens. When the NRC exercise took place in Assam, officials found that these persons were trying to get themselves included in the NRC despite being declared as foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunal. They were providing their voter ID cards as evidence to show that they were Indian citizens.
Investigations also revealed that they had managed to source these id cards by using legacy codes of other persons. With the help of agents, these persons had bribed people obtain the legacy data codes.
The officials found that there were at least 40 lakh instances of a family tree mismatch and the persons using the same code were unable to identify each other. The Muslim migrants who had infiltrated into India were running this racket.
Former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing, Amar Bhushan says that this is a dangerous issue.
He says that 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.
Amidst this there was another report of how some locals in West Bengal with the help of illegal migrants from Bangladeshis had planned on declaring azadi in Murshidabad. 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 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.