Bengaluru

Police detain three Bangladeshi migrants in Bengaluru

A child looks at his home that was demolished by the civic body at Bellandur in Bengaluru on January 21, 2020.

A child looks at his home that was demolished by the civic body at Bellandur in Bengaluru on January 21, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Lacked papers to prove Indian identity; move follows demolition of hutments of alleged illegal migrants.

The Bengaluru police on Tuesday arrested three persons of a family, who they say are Bangladeshi immigrants, at Munnekolala village near Whitefield in southeast Bengaluru. 

According to the police, Mohammed Lokman, 55, son of Sonali Ganji, a resident of Boresel village, Pirajpur district, Bangladesh, along with his wife Jasmin Begum, 35, and son Raasel were arrested after receiving a tip-off from the locals. 

The incident comes two days after around 150 makeshift houses on a piece of private land were demolished by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in adjoining Kariyammana Agrahara near Bellandur in the southeastern part of the city. 

Speaking to The Hindu, M.N. Anucheth, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Whitefield, said the three arrested had admitted to being Bangladeshi migrants.

 

“No identity cards to prove that they were Indians were found and a few Bangladesh identity cards, including national ID and birth certificates, were found,” he said.

On Monday, in the same area, the Marathahalli police had detained a few persons, alleging that they were illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. 

However, activists have dismissed the claims of the police and said the people detained were from West Bengal. Akmal Pasha, from the Alternative Law Forum, said some labourers were detained by the police while they were unloading goods in the night. 

Mr. Anucheth said those who were detained on Monday night were released on Tuesday as they they had valid documents.

 

However, accusing the police of prejudicial action, Basawa Prasad, advocate from Alternative Law Forum, said, “When we rushed to the rescue of the detainees on Monday night, a few of their neighbours came with us. There a few police personnel asked why we were supporting them. When we said they were Indians, they asked us to make those accompanying us sing the National Anthem.” He said he tried to explain to the police that singing the national anthem was not a criteria to decide on ones citizenship. 

Bellandur demolitions 

This incident comes two days after around 150 hutments on private land were demolished by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), in the adjoining locality, Kariyammana Agrahara near Bellandur in South East part of the City in a sudden move. 

Interestingly, agencies involved in the evacuation drive refused to take ownership of the act. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), city’s civic body, had written to the city police seeking security during the drive, which was provided by the police. The police said that they received a letter from the Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) after which the demolition was taken up and they had no further role to play. 

In its letter to the police, the BBMP alleged that illegal Bangaldeshi immigrants were staying there and converting the place into a slum and that they had received oral complaints by the neighbours. 

Speaking to The Hindu, B.H. Anil Kumar, BBMP Commissioner, said that BBMP officer who conducted the drive was not authorised to do it and had conducted the drive without proper documents or written complaints. “The officer responsible for the drive has been repatriated to the home department. We have also written to the department to suspend the officer immediately and conduct an enquiry,” he said.

From West Bengal and Tripura

However, activists say that there were no Bangladeshis residing in the sheds demolished and that many were from West Bengal and Tripura. When The Hindu visited the spot, many families were trying to salvage whatever was left of their belongings. Many labourers who have lost homes are also from the northern districts of Karnataka. 

Nagappa, who hails from Raichur in North Karnataka and works as a house keeper in a building nearby, said that the official were completely “blind and deaf” to their request not conduct the drive. “Isn’t Raichur in India?” he asked. “There are tens of labourers from North Karnataka also who have lost their tents,” he said, and added that most of those in his neighbourhood who are dubbed “Bangladeshis” were from West Bengal and Tripura. 

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 10:52:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/police-arrest-three-bangladeshi-immigrants/article30618618.ece

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