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Bangladeshis have no business to stay back: Chidambaram

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P. Chidambaram
P. Chidambaram

Favours stricter measures to check illegal immigration

New Delhi: Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said Bangladeshis have “no business” to be in India without permission. There was “no reason” why a large number of visas were being issued to Bangladeshis every month, he noted.

Mr. Chidambaram voiced concern over the “ineffective” monitoring system to check whether a Bangladeshi coming to India returned after his visa expired visa or stayed on.

“I don’t regard a Bangladeshi as a Muslim or a non-Muslim. He is a Bangladeshi. He has no business to come to India unless he has a visa. He has no business to live here unless he has a residence permit. He has no business to work here unless he has a work permit. He is a Bangladeshi. His religion is completely irrelevant,” the Minister told NDTV.

Asked about steps to end illegal immigration, he said: “I am now looking into what is happening on our borders, passport control points. I think we issue a very large number of visas to Bangladeshis every month. There is no reason to issue so many visas. And there is very ineffective monitoring system [to check] whether the guy has gone back to Bangladesh or remained here.”

Mr. Chidambaram said porous borders and illegal immigration were causing “unexpected demographic changes and a lot of angst” among the native population of Assam and West Bengal.

The intelligence system has been “more or less fixed” with the re-establishment of the Multi-Agency Centre. The “best example” of that was receipt of prior information about the recent attack in Guwahati. “We had information late in the afternoon of December 31. We shared [it] in real-time basis with the Assam government. I was able to speak to the Chief Minister,” he said.

He maintained that the agencies were able to give even the name of a potential terrorist. He admitted that there was a “little hiccup” with regard to acting on the information. There was “no leak” from any central agency since December first week.

On specific information with regard to the Mumbai strikes, Mr. Chidambaram said, “Well, it can be as specific as you can get. You will not get an invitation card which says you are cordially invited to come and witness a seaside incursion. You will not get anything like that. There was enough intelligence building up and I think the last piece was quite clinching. It was shared with two agencies as I said in Parliament. They say they did their best. They could not locate the ship or the fishing trawler.”

Mr. Chidambaram said there were “gaps” in intelligence gathering and intelligence sharing. “More importantly, after the intelligence was shared, neither the giver nor the receiver talked to each other and asked questions. That I think is the failure.” — PTI


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