Amit Shah directs officials to identify 100 ‘infiltrators’ in every State and deport them

The Union Home Minister asked intelligence officials to continue with the targeted crackdown even if the neighbouring countries do not accept the undocumented migrants.

November 13, 2022 08:18 pm | Updated November 14, 2022 11:44 am IST - NEW DELHI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah during an interaction with Intelligence Bureau in New Delhi on November 9, 2022.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah during an interaction with Intelligence Bureau in New Delhi on November 9, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Home Minister Amit Shah has asked top intelligence officials to make an example of “infiltrators” by detecting, detaining, and deporting them.

At a meeting with the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureaus (SIB) of all States on November 9, Mr. Shah tasked the officials to identify around 100 “illegal migrants” in each State, check their documents, and arrest and deport them if possible, senior government officials told The Hindu. The Home Minister asked officials to continue with the targeted crackdown even if the neighbouring countries do not accept the undocumented migrants.

This is not the first time that Mr. Shah has flagged an influx of such undocumented migrants, along with demographic changes in border States, as one of the key internal security challenges in the country.

Demographic changes

On August 17-18, at the National Security Strategies Conference organised by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), which was attended by the chiefs of State police, Mr. Shah asked them to keep a strict vigil on demographic changes and radicalisation in border districts. The IB made a presentation on the rising Muslim population in the border districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and sought to link these population changes to extreme poverty in these areas as projected in the National Family Health Survey data. An official who attended the meeting said that Mr. Shah was not convinced with the explanation and asked for a thorough analysis of the factors contributing to such changes.

At the annual Director General of Police conference held from November 19-21, 2021, the Uttar Pradesh police presented a paper stating that the population growth in general in border areas was higher than the national average, and that there has been a steady growth in Muslim population in the border villages. It said that a significant increase in the numbers of mosques and madrassas (seminaries) over the past few years have confirmed the fallout of changing demographics on both sides of the border.

The presentation said that out of 1,047 villages in seven border districts of Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Balrampur, Bahraich, Shravasti, Pilibhit and Khiri, 303 villages had a Muslim population between 30-50%, while 116 villages had a Muslim population of more than 50%. The total number of mosques and madrassas in border districts stood at 1,349 in February 2018 which increased to 1,688 in September 2021, a 25% increase, the U.P police paper said.

Conversions flagged

At the November 9 meeting, the Minister asked officials to keep an eye on organised religious conversion by Christian groups as evident from incidents of Sikhs converting to Christianity, another official said.

Recently, the Akal Takht, the highest temporal authority of the Sikhs demanded an anti-conversion law in Punjab, citing forced conversions of Sikhs to Christianity. According to the last Census exercise in 2011, the percentage of Christian population in Punjab stood at 1.5%. The latest demographic changes are not known as the Census that was to be conducted in 2021 has been indefinitely postponed due to COVID-19.

A press statement issued by the ministry on November 9 said that Mr. Shah held extensive discussions on various issues related to national security including counter terrorism, threat from extremism, cyber security, border security and threats from cross border elements to the integrity and stability of the nation.

He said that the IB had made an important contribution in maintaining peace in the country since Independence and has done so while staying “anonymous” and “without any expectations.”

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