The illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, who were arrested by Andhra Pradesh police from two railway stations in the State recently, allegedly sneaked into the country through drainage pipes on the Indo-Bangladesh border, the investigation officers have said.
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the police arrested eight illegal immigrants from Rajamahendravaram and Vijayawada railway stations a few days ago. The police received information from the intelligence officials that some Bangladeshi nationals had gained illegal entry into India and were travelling in the Howrah-Chennai Mail and Howrah-Vascodagama Amaravati Express trains.
Now, investigation is under way to ascertain whether there are any drainage pipes along the international border as claimed by the arrested immigrants, or they gained entry into India through some underground passages.
The Bangladesh nationals allegedly crossed the borders after the restrictions imposed during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic were relaxed. They reportedly settled down at different places in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other States, and have been working as daily wagers in the construction sector since then.
Fake identity cards
The investigation officers say that many illegal immigrants do not have passports, but, they have fake voter IDs, Aadhaar and PAN cards which carry false addresses from Karnataka and other States. The intelligence officials, during the investigation, observed that a broker from Bangladesh, who has settled in West Bengal, had arranged the fake Aadhaar, PAN and other identity cards for the illegal immigrants.
The police which made the arrests from the Rajamahendravaram railway station observed that the arrested Bangladeshi nationals were not using android phones. The seized mobile phones will be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to trace the contacts of the illegal immigrants, they said.
Meanwhile, the Vijayawada and Rajamahendravaram police have apprised the Ministry of External Affairs, Bangladesh Embassy and the Indian Embassy in Dhaka of the arrests. They are planning to file petitions in the courts, seeking police custody of the immigrants.
The police said many illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, in groups, allegedly crossed the international border and entered West Bengal during the night and the brokers in both the countries (Bangladesh and in India) provided them shelter and arranged the fake identity cards. Now, the police are trying to ascertain the railway station from which the Bangladeshi nationals had booked their tickets.